Zimbabwe: Sibongile Moyo

Date: September 20, 2018
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Entrepreneur par excellence

My husband abused me emotionally and it affected my well-being. He was working in South Africa and he rarely sent money home and when he did he would send as little as R 500. I struggled to survive with my child since my eldest child had also left for South Africa. It was a stressful situation for me because I was still married to him and I depended on him for survival.

I had the opportunity to go to Germany in 2009 to represent women in leadership and the experience widened my horizons. Later, in 2010 I did a management course with Natal University. I was educationally empowered but economic empowerment was the only missing link in the genuine development of my life.

I continued depending on my husband for survival but his abusive behaviour forced me to think otherwise. I started a sewing business in 2012 with the small amount of capital that I acquired from well-wishers. In time Fortune Faith Sewing Services developed into a fully established business entity. The business specialises in school outfits, ties, dresses, seat covers, curtains and bed spreads. At the onset I engaged three workers and I used to engage contract workers at regular intervals.

I applied for a loan and I used the money to purchase a vehicle for transport. The car made marketing easier for us as we can now cover a large area within a short space of time. Reliability and consistency created a mutual relationship between my company and the major clients like schools and hotels. The production level was increased and the business created a space for itself in the commercial world.

After I encountered Gender Links in 2014 and underwent entrepreneurship training, my business developed further. I engaged 60 people from my community whom I lectured on entrepreneurship. I taught them the basics of bookkeeping and business management. I assisted them to start their own small businesses and they are all doing well.

To respond to the growing demand that came about as a result of the full implementation of my entrepreneurial skills, I have plans to increase the number of machines. The four machines that are currently in use must be upgraded to maintain efficiency. When the upgrading plans are fully implemented more employment opportunities will be created for the community.

The economic development that took place in my life has affected my social development. My husband now respects me and he no longer takes me for granted. I am now highly regarded in the community because of the social responsibility programme that I conducted, training other women to start businesses.