16-year-old learner defies odds as he starts business venture

16-year-old Blessing Mhlanga’s business idea would have remained a dream without the business knowledge he received from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe under its Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) Project.

The budding entrepreneur from Shurugwi distric says he was just an ordinary learner at Chironde Secondary School until he joined a Junior Star club which was supported by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe at his school.

“When I joined the club, I was taken though all the core concepts of the MEY project namely Entrepreneurship, Health, Motivation, Gender and Environment.

“I also took part in learning visits which were facilitated by the club patrons.

“All this exposure opened my mind and I realised that my dream of becoming a farmer could become a reality,” he said

He added that the trainings on entrepreneurship particularly record keeping made him realize why a horticultural enterprise that his parents had tried to run back home had failed.

With all the knowledge from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, Blessing managed to successfully revive the horticultural enterprise at his homestead, where he now ventures in tomato production with the support of his parents.

His drive, passion and business acumen has seen him grow into a successful young business man

He recently made a profit of USD$400.00 after selling his tomatoes to local community members. The teenager’s enterprise has grown remarkably as he currently boasts of 1000 tomato plants in his nursery.

He has also gone an extra mile in conserving the environment by producing the indigenous Msasa tree seedlings through nursing its pods.

“I would like to thank Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for the knowledge I received through their youth centric project (MEY). I am also grateful for the support I receive from my parents in managing my income generating project.

Blessing is also a proud member of a Junior star club which is into massive broiler production at his school.

The MEY project contributes actively in promoting sustainable development in Zimbabwe through improving motivation, health awareness, and entrepreneurship among the adolescents attending school (15-18 years) and young adults not in education (19-35 years).

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