Woman bakes her way out of poverty

In 2008 the country was in the grip of one of the worst periods of hyperinflation in world history. The people of this once proud nation plunged into struggle mode. Many were reduced to being hawkers and black-market hustlers, their hollow cheeks bearing testament to their hunger.

Karichi preparing the ingredients.
Karichi preparing the ingredients.

Today, seven years later, Bybit Karichi is a courageous woman who bakes and sells home-made steak and mince pies, thereby earning enough to support her family, save her home from foreclosure and employ others.

A former chef at a local hotel, she was retrenched when the hotel downsized its staff as business dwindled.

“As a family, we were in limbo for a long time. We never really recovered financially from the difficulties experienced since 2008. I wanted to bake and sell pies, but I had no capital to start the business,” said Karichi, now a successful business woman.

Back in 2008, the divorced, single mother with two children was very poor. She could not afford to access a loan from a micro finance institution or commercial bank as she did not have any collateral.

Change of fortune

Then in 2012 her luck changed. Through contacts made at church, she heard about the Microcredit Development Partnership (MDP) initiated by the Mutare Business Women Association (MBWA).

The MDP is a community-based microcredit programme that empowers needy women with financial literacy and credit and saving facilities. They serve and support women in urban and rural communities where there are few NGO’s and CBO’s.

When loan officers from MDP were doing home visits in the suburb of Yoevil, Karichi showed a keen interest and decided to join other women and become an MDP member.

“At first, I was quite scared because I did not know much about loan services. Attending seminars and workshops facilitated by the programme and encouraging words from group members and officers from MDP empowered me. I gained self-confidence and applied for a loan to start a business,” she said.

In January 2013, she received her first $1 500 loan from MDP and established a business of baking steak and mince pies from her home.

100 Pies per day

“I bought a bigger oven, some utensils and the ingredients I needed to kick-start my project. I started by baking 30 pies a day and the response was overwhelming. I then increased to 50 and and am now baking just under100 pies a day,” she proudly said. She sells her pies at $1 each to hotels, small vendors and individual customers and at 50 cents to restaurants and supermarkets that place bulk orders. She employs two ladies.

Lorraine Fachi, Business Development Officer at MDP is very proud of Karichi.

“She is indeed a very good example of success. She has demonstrated that she is a hard worker and has put to good use what she received from our developmental programme. We strive to help make the lives of people who live in extreme poverty a little more comfortable,” said Pfachi.

“We want more people in our communities to be transformed and we want to help bring hope back into the lives of people,” she added.

Big dream

Karichi has a big dream though: “I dream that one day I will own a much bigger business than what I am running now and that I will become an excellent entrepreneur.

“There is a great difference between loans provided by MDP and those provided by other institutions. MDP do not only grant loans, they also teach people how to manage those loans and their business effectively,” said a proud Karichi.

Karichi’s success has inspired hundreds of desperate women to escape poverty.

To find out more about how you can do a similar project please contact:

Bybit Karichi Cellphone: 0715 152 017

Loraine Pfachi (MDP) Tel: <span class="skype_c2c_print_container notranslate 020 664133</span><span id="skype_c2c_container" class="skype_c2c_container notranslate" dir="ltr" tabindex="-1" onmouseover="SkypeClick2Call.MenuInjectionHandler.showMenu(this, event)" onmouseout="SkypeClick2Call.MenuInjectionHandler.hideMenu(this, event)" onclick="SkypeClick2Call.MenuInjectionHandler.makeCall(this, event)" data-numbertocall="+4420664133" data-isfreecall="false" data-isrtl="false" data-ismobile="false <span class="skype_c2c_highlighting_inactive_common" dir="ltr" skypeaction="skype_dropdown <span class="skype_c2c_textarea_span" id="non_free_num_ui <img class="skype_c2c_logo_img" src="resource://skype_ff_extension-at-jetpack/skype_ff_extension/data/call_skype_logo.png" height="0" width="0 <span class="skype_c2c_text_span 020 664133</span><span class="skype_c2c_free_text_span </span></span></span></span>

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