Lindiwe Ndlovu Commends HiHZim support

Lindiwe Ndlovu, 59, from Ward 1 Bulilima District is full of praise and admiration for Hand in Hand Zimbabwe’s technical and moral support.
 
Before she came into contact with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in May this year, Ndlovu and her fellow Sivukile Self Help Group members did not reap benefits from their innovative Marula jam-making venture.
 
“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe trained us on effective ways to run a successful business,” she said.
 
“Before we were equipped with marketing strategies such as branding and packaging, we would just pick-up disposed containers and place Marula Jam inside without even labelling the containers, but now I can testify that our sales have greatly improved through the use of unique branding and packaging,” she added.
 
According to Ndlovu, all ten group members now earn as much as $300 per month from the Marula Jam sales. The neatly packed 500ml bottle costs $10.
 
“I’m enjoying financial freedom as I can now pay school fees from my youngest child and provide for my family without external support. I have four children who are out of the country but I don’t bother them anymore to send us money because I can now afford to cater for my family,” she said

Self Help Groups graduate in Natane ward 3

Self Help Groups graduate in Natane ward 3

Hand In Hand Zimbabwe (HiH Zim) is a local NGO which implements a poverty reduction programme through job creation using the Self Help Group (SHG) model and enterprise development concept. The programme targets mainly the women, youths and people living with disabilities who have limited resources to sustain a living through capacity building and empowerment.
Of success, HiH Zim in collaboration with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development trained communities in Natane ward 3 located east of Bulilima District to start and grow small businesses so that they can earn an income and confidence in their ability to be economically active. The training sessions which are done in six months covered the following five modules; Self Help Group strengthening. Managing money, Business opportunity identification, managing enterprise marketing and managing enterprise finances.
Having completed the six months modular training, the graduation ceremony was organised at ward level by ward 3 communities with the assistance of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. The ceremony was attended by the Self Help Group members, local leadership, community members, representatives from the government ministries which include Ministry of Women affairs, Gender and Community Development as well as Representatives from Ministry of Small Medium and Cooperative Development. The SHGs took turns to show case the knowledge gained at the SHG through exhibition of wares which are part of the enterprises, speeches from SHGs representatives, songs, drama and poems thus providing the entertainment for the day.

 

“Extension support from the local Agritex officer Miss Nakisani Tshuma has been very instrumental in the success of our indigenous chicken enterprise because she has helped us in improving housing for the chickens”, said Miss Lindiwe Mangani the chairperson for Mzilikazi SHG which is into indigenous chicken production.

 

“The arrival of the project in 2015 was a blessing as it provided us with knowledge on how to start and scale up small businesses by finding bigger markets. After being part of Ukwenza Kunye Self Help Group I borrowed a loan from the group fund valued at US$50. With it I bought winter clothes for selling from Botswana. Since then I have been able to restock my business every month realising a profit margin of US70.00. With the proceeds I have managed to pay school fees for all of my children’s school fees, buy stationary and some food for the family”, narrated Grace Nkomo on behalf of Ukwenza Kunye Self Help Group.

 

SHG member receiving the certificate Area Manager giving speech

The HIH Zim Area Manager for Bulilima officiated as the guests of honour with speech of encouragement, motivation and the certificates were handed to the graduates. In total, over 60 graduates from 10 Self Help Groups (SHGs) received certificates

 

SHG graduates pose at Natane ward 3

Recorded by: Unami

Vegetable Value Addition

Food Processing

Health practitioners recommend colored dish for an improved functionality of the body, meaning it is nutritious. For a successful startup an entrepre- neur use emergent strategy to enlarge or gain a market pie, one can ask how?, a question to be answered later. Trainings that she received from HiH Zimbabwe enabled her to understand the business environment in which she operates in, which is described with high competition faced by horticultural entrepre- neurs in selling of leafy vegetables. Marketing, business opportunity iden- tification, financial man- agement among other trainings are of relevance in running an enterprise. Realizing the increase of competition in horticulture business, she decided to add value to her products where food processing is identified as a strategy to propel the business in- stead of selling them unprocessed.

 

 

Value addition process and promotion

Before handing food, hygiene is of priority, jik is used as an disinfectant for washing hands, utensils and the vegetables. Vegetables are sorted, partially cooked, dried for about 3 days using a solar drier and packaged. This prepares the product for the market. Adding value and identification and develop- ing multiple product lines is a strategy that entrepre- neurs are adopting to and for market entry and gain share. Without promoting the product, it is difficult it is difficult to locate the ‘ market gate’ . Mavis launched her product (solar dried vegetables) at village level in a forum of tradition- al leadership and stockholders that includes the village head (s), councilor and Agritex department and other government officials.

“Though the enterprise is yet to grow, launching the product was part of market research andI was able to interact with the potential customers. Through the re- views I gained insights to develop the product. For ex- ample, customers recommended not to add spices and preservatives to the vegetable. Currently produc- tion is kept low at 60x500g of dried vegetables monthly sold at $0.50 each. If it was not marketing and busi- ness skills that I was capacitated with by HiH Zimba- bwe would not have identified the promising business opportunity and developed the product. The earnings from the business are used to buy the basic commodi- ties, such as relish, salt, sugar to mention a few.” She said.

  

Plans

By 31 December 2017

 To merge with other members’ products and develop group products lines that include coffee, strawberry, dried vegetables and broiler

 To develop the brand name

 To improve packaging

Therefore, one can point out that, food processing as a strategy supports and needs to be adopt- ed by horticulture enterprises. And there is need for the entrepreneurs to invest in branding and packaging that a successful enterprise is launched.