Trained women launch their own businesses

CLAYTON MASEKESA reports on the positive results achieved by women from Mutasa district who successfully completed six weeks of entrepreneurship training in 2013.

Joyline Fukurayi - It's sad that women have few opportunities to make money.

Joyline Fukurayi – It’s sad that women have few opportunities to make money.

With her growing profits, Joyline Fukurayi now owns one of the most thriving and successful tailoring businesses at Watsomba Growth Point in Mutasa district. The business has become financially viable and she is now an employer in her own right.
Fukurayi is one of a group of previously unemployed women from Mutasa who have benefited from the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP), which has helped them to acquire knowledge and skills that has, in turn, helped them to launch their own enterprises. The training courses were organised by a local NGO, the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (IED), in association with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development.
In a recent interview the IED Director, Evelyn Kwenda, said the objective of the training was to help unemployed women to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to help them start their own enterprises.

Great potential
“We realised that communities have hundreds of women with the potential to start their own businesses. We noted that many small enterprises are led by women who are engaged in diversified activities,” said Kwenda. “As a result of this, we began to train women with the necessary skills and knowledge to help them to uplift themselves.”
The organisation will continue to work with the Women’s Affairs ministry to organise training workshops. “We will mainly offer training in handicrafts, interior decorating, savings and credit, jewellery manufacturing, catering services, textile, agriculture and food production,” she added.
The women will also be offered training in the basics of financial management, marketing and customer care.
“Trainings will be done in all the provinces and will be available to unemployed women and the youth,” said Kwenda
Brenda Rusere from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs said it was important for women to attend these training sessions. “As a Ministry we want to encourage more women to attend the trainings that will promote the sustainable growth of individuals and add to the country’s economy,” she said.
“The training and partnerships play a very crucial and significant role in capacity building and promoting co-operation within our communities and the country as a whole,” said Rusere.
Fukurayi, now the proud owner of Joyline Fashions, said the training she received had provided her with a sustainable livelihood using the minimal resources at her disposal.

Poorer by the day
“Previously I was getting poorer by the day. It is sad that many women and mothers have little or no education and very few opportunities to make a living. So I decided to attend the training and it has indeed opened doors for me,” she said.
“I have observed that many mothers don’t have the money to feed their children and with limited employment opportunities, they often fall into the prostitution trap. I am happy that I was part of a group of women who got together, received training and started their own businesses and that we have indeed managed to change our lives and that of the people in our communities,” she added.
Fukurayi now owns two tailoring shops in Mutasa and Mutare and employs five people. “I am now able to look after my own family and send my children to school. I have also managed to train and employ other women thereby contributing to their quality of life,” said this married mother of three.
She is expanding her business and is in the process of establishing strong links locally as her products are now being sold in various shops at Watsomba and Mutare.
“Besides having links with schools and crèches, my aim and target is now to penetrate the corporate world. I want to win tenders to supply corporate wear. My message to other women is that they should not sit back and lose hope. We should make use of opportunities that come our way,” Fukurayi said.

Thriving grocery store
Letwin Ziyera also received training and now owns a grocery store at DC Mutasa. In a recent interview during a visit to her shop, Ziyera, a widow, said the business was growing steadily and she needed access to more space to boost her business.
“This has been an eye opener. I have constructively used the knowledge and skills that I acquired to run my business. The grocery store has not only turned my life around, but that of many other women in the community. I want everyone to understand the importance of business training, and the many things that we can do as women,” said Ziyera.
Ziyera now runs a successful business, provides good customer service and employs two people. “I intend to expand the grocery business. If all goes well I plan to grow it into a supermarket in the future,” she said.

Contact info
If you would like more information or help to start a similar project in your area, please contact:
Joyline Fukurai – 0735 608 536
Letwin Ziyera – 0773 420 892
IED – [email protected]
Cell – 0774 630 358

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