Zimbabwe: Makandidana Enterprises


Date: August 2, 2018
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Leah*(not her real name) started staying alone in 2010 and was looking after her two children whom she had been left with by her husband, Titus. Her husband had left her to stay with another woman. She survived by buying pots and blankets in Harare and reselling them at the farm where she lived and other surrounding areas. Titus later returned when he was very ill. Her husband confided with her that he went away because he had known that he was HIV positive and did not want to spread the virus to her. He encouraged her to go for HIV testing of and was found positive. They have accepted their status and been living positively since 2012.

She was later invited to Gender Links (GL) entrepreneurship programme by the Goromonzi Rural District Council gender focal person. She was very much interested with the programme and she never looked back. During the workshops some business ideas, proposals and plans were drafted finally leading her to venture into business. Her business is thriving and expanding making her a household name within the community. She buys chicken feet and heads, mackerel fish, sausages and mince meat for resale in her community.

The GL entrepreneurship workshops made Leah to diversify her business besides reselling pots and blankets. She realised that foodstuffs are in greater demand than pots and blankets. However, she is still in the pots and blankets resale business though the foodstuffs side is making her popular. She is doing well because she believes that she is capable. She has stayed in the same area ever since she started her business. She has been able to buy small items such as kitchen utensils. Sande has also managed to buy a refrigerator to keep her stock such as mackerel fish and sausages fresh. She has also bought a television set because of the project’s success. She is getting plenty of orders in her business. She has also managed to hire some staff who at times do some deliveries because of the project’s success. She is contended in not finding new markets for her produce. She currently has a bank account and her business is growing.

Leah believes that she is doing a lot to the community through sharing gender based violence information which she obtained from GL. She currently considers herself as an influential person with her community. She gives credit to GL for fostering some entrepreneurial skills that she has used to economically empower herself with. Sande said that it was not a challenge to access funds to start her business as she simply used the money she had in the pots and blankets resale business. She is applying the information she learnt from the entrepreneurship workshops to make her business flourish. She finds market from the community and she easily keeps her financial records.

After the training Leah acquired some basic computer skills though she has not managed to buy one. She has now set up her email address, google and Facebook accounts after the entrepreneurship training. These assist her business very much as she can now communicate with her clients and other business partners. She even markets her business through some social applications like WhatsApp groups. She is able to do some banking and money transfers.