Its 2015 and What’s the news? In October 2014, Emily Maposa a Co-Director in Quatrohaus was amongst the 30 Entrepreneurs who were selected for an Entrepreneur Training programme in Harare, Zimbabwe. The training marked the beginning of a new journey for Quatrohaus and Emily. These are just insights of the lessons learnt from the training and the mentorship programme: Quatrohaus Case Study Experience – PROWEB Virgin Unite Entreprenuer Training 2015
PROWEB training assisted me to come up with a documented Business Plan which has provided my Business with direction and purpose. The Business Plan has helped to broaden my understanding of my business such as its strengths, weaknesses, its operations and industry. The Business Plan has assisted me to set appropriate goals and objectives with a clear vision. I have also learnt how to manage and control the finances of my business and I have since set up systems to achieve financial controls. In addition through PROWEB training I have strengthened my record keeping and are paying attention to detail.
It all started with an email from PROWEB inviting me to a breakfast meeting to launch the Electronic Women’s Directory in Mutare at the Amber Hotel. Quite a number of ladies attended who were running big businesses already. Little did I know that this was the beginning of an exciting journey for me.CASE STUDY Nyaradzo Chahuruva
The turning point for my business was being invited to attend the PROWEB Foundation course on Entrepreneurial Skills . My business had been operating in project mode and I started looking at it as a business. What impacted me the most was an injunction from one of the presenters to view my operation as a sustainable business and not a small project. This simple change in mindset has helped me to develop a bigger vision for the business that I am now working towards. PROWEB CASE STUDY _ NOMA NDLOVU
The good news is that there is plenty that can be done to make sure a partnership succeeds and achieves great results for both parties. Virgin Unite for example, is supporting mentoring programme PROWEB, which works with female entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. Having created 60 mentoring relationships over the last six months, we posed this question to the women’s empowerment network: how do you ensure a mentoring relationship flourishes?
To bring our #MentoringToGrow series to a close, we have two incredible women from PROWEB Business Training Programme Busi Geneva Marandure and Gail Mawocha, sharing what their mentoring relationship means to them – highlighting the business and the personal benefits that come from being both a mentor and a mentee. https://www.virgin.com/unite/entrepreneurship/how-mentoring-relationships-grow-both-mentees-and-mentors
“Before enrolling in the business programme, I was not making much profit from my vending venture. Now, with the business skills acquired from my tutors and my mentor, business is booming. I used to sell small quantities on the streets, but I am now supplying large supermarkets with orders of vegetables and fruit every day,” said Sango in a recent interview.http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2015/10/proweb-empowers-young-business-women/
PROWEB has been running a Business Women’s Training and Mentorship Programme in Entrepreneurship Skills for 60 female entrepreneurs from the southern and northern region of Zimbabwe. On the 5th and 6th of October 2015, PROWEB hosted a Graduation Ceremony in Harare and Bulawayo to recognise these outstanding women entrepreneurs who successfully and satisfactorily completed the one year training programme. The Training focused on beginners and advanced business training bootcamps, Business Plan Development and Business Pitch, Access to Financial Services and products, Business Mentorship,National and Regional Trade Show participation.
I started my business in 1995 in Gweru after my husband‘s transfer to run a branch in Gweru so I lost my job in Harare.Gweru being a small town it was difficult for me to find a job. I had a domestic sewing machine so I decided to start sewing. I started with placemats, tea cosies, oven gloves etc out of printed fabric. I then went for an embroidery course then diversified into embroidery on plain white and cream fabric which made my products very unique because everyone in the home deco industry used prints.
My business became very popular and I could not cope on my own, so I trained my housemaid’s son who had just finished school to help with sewing and he was very quick to learn.At this stage, we needed to increase the number of sewing machines, employees to help with the growing business. I got finance from UDC limited to buy two industrial machines and one domestic over locker and employed 20 girls to help with crotchet work and embroidery in the making of African lace that go on table cloth.
I became so popular that I exhibited at all country fairs in the country, also exhibited at our local international trade fair. I had customers who could buy my wares for export, as I did not have the knowledge to export, they would take the products out themselves implying that I would get less value for my products. Out of my products I managed to buy two cars for cash and still able to run my business.
We came back to Harare as a family and business went down because of the economic crisis, I then downscaled production. Even though I did well in the business I did not have knowledge and skills on the following: structures, marketing strategy, costing, pricing and customer care. In addition to that I had no systems in place to be competitive on the Harare market which had many players and could not developa business plan for potential investors and for sourcing funds. The training component that sank into my heart was the one on planning because I believe lack of planning is a recipe for failure in a business.
I thank PROWEB and Branson Centre for selecting me to attend the Business Women’s Training Programme in Entrepreneurship skills held at Bronte Hotel on from the 20-24th of October 2014.The training equipped me with the following skills that I did not have to compete on the market: record keeping, pricing strategy development, understanding the customer, marketing strategy development, Understanding the key competitors, Goal setting, having a vision for one’s business, networking, business plan development and ultimately placing the customer at the centre of the business. I also lacked Accounting and Finance skills so the basics that I was taught helped me appreciate the basics of Accounting and Finance.
With the above training skills and knowledge imparted on me, my vision is to explore the regional and international markets and be highly competitive on the local market as well.
Charlotte Chigwedere, Patches Galore, Harare.
Merrion Lodge accorded me an opportunity to have experience as an entrepreneur and have an insight of the realities that business people face in running establishments. It is said, ‘Unless a man takes more than he can, he can never achieve all that he can.’ This quote is true in relation to the Business Women’s Training and Mentorship Programme in Entrepreneurship Skills I attended recently.
The business was established in 1996 focusing on placements, and has since grown and diversified it in 2002 into Merrion Caterers. The business started with only six rooms and then expanded into 15 rooms within a period of four years. I am now strategically focused on adding more rooms and even establishing a first class hotel. The business is owned and managed by professionals who are recognized for their capability and success in various business ventures, but the programme has increased the magnitude of our understanding in successfully running the business.
Merrion Lodges provides the following services as its courtesy to its clientele; – Concierge services, Parking, Medical (First Aid), Taxi services, Security for on-site parking, Laundry and 24 hour room service.
Merrion Lodges comprises of an establishment of eight employees and two senior managers. For administration, supervision and duty allocation, the Human Resources Manager will deploy personnel according to their caliber and capacity.
At the moment, my business is striving to expand in order to carter for the overwhelming accommodation demands and to be abreast with the constantly changing requirements of today’s market. Merrion Lodges meets any needs which may arise by offering specialized upmarket and customized services for local and international clients.
Business Women’s Training Appreciation.
After attending the Business Women’s Training and Mentorship Programme in Entrepreneurship Skills, I learnt valuable concepts on how to sustain our business and manage change. We are living in a world of change and have a customer driven economy, where there is need of aligning the business with the environment. We have added to our growth model resources to capacitate our strategic goals, periodic goals, special goals and routine goals to become market leaders.
Using the PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environment) concept which generally affects most businesses in one way or the other, I have had my eyes opened during the training, on its effects in our operations. Such information has enabled me to set up a strategic business transformation to counter negative effects of PESTLE.
Since the training, I also learnt how to tolerate, communicate, appreciate and accommodate our customers. I do not regret attending trainings with Branson Centre for Entrepreneurs because all things that I learnt are necessary and applicable to my organization. I realized that in the hotel industry there is need for marketing, business planning, setting of targets, communication, business finance, sales promotions and advertising, since they are very relevant to be applied daily. It is such a marvelous experience, seeing theory becoming reality and as students we appreciate the well thought lecture.
Before, my business used to be a social thing, money was being kept in a handbag and would be requested for various purchases and payment of bills without any record, but now it is a reformed business, all the money now finds its way to the bank. As for payments, they are now done through the bank and we will have a record for income and expenditure which assists us in ascertaining the flow of cash in the business.