Zimbabwe: Inflation eroding my business

Date: October 9, 2019
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”Good customer care is the motto that I have undertaken for my business,” excitedly said Patricia.

I started my journey with Gender Links (GL) in 2018. However, I have not received any visit from them or the council. The major challenge is the high inflation rate that is currently crippling the country’s economy. The shops which sell the knitting wool are all demanding that the wool has to be bought in United States dollars (US$). For my customers to buy the knitted woollen products like jerseys, gloves, scarfs and children’s booties in US$ is near to being impossible. I am simply selling my woollen products in the local currency to everyone but if there is anyone willing to buy in US$ I will readily agree. I am always hiking my products prices to match the parallel market rate so that I will be able to buy more wool.

Currently I am in business though the going is proving to be very tough. The programme taught me to diversify if I notice that either the products are not being marketable or to have a variety of products. I am in the process of doing a market research for another business venture other than knitting because it is not being viable. The council is not being helpful at all. They only inform me that GL would want to meet me and the venue then nothing else.

I was experiencing some form of violence before my husband passed on. I am now doing my business with the support of my children some of whom are already married. I can even manage to support my grandchildren whom I requested from their parents. I am also assisting some of my relatives who always come to me in need of help. There is a strong link between economic empowerment and the reduction of gender based violence.

The change is being acknowledged by most people in the community as they are evidently coming to me either for financial assistance or advice. I profoundly offer the best advice on how businesses should be run. I encourage them to first consider a viable business entity to run before pouring one’s money into the business.

The government is changing laws that make women feel equal to men. The government established the Women’s Bank to encourage women to be involved in businesses.