From selling home baked buns to owning a grocery shop

What started as a hobby has become a source of income for Shylet Chinenhe, a 35-year-old lady from Mapiravana village in Chirumhanzu district.

Growing up in an extremely poor family, Shylet thought getting married to an employed man would help her escape poverty.

But, alas, this did not happen as after getting married, her husband lost his job—the only source of income—leaving the family in abject poverty.

Faced by the responsibility of taking care of her children and an unemployed husband, Shylet had to devise a plan that could save her household from their financial crisis.

Having grown up watching her mother baking, Shylet decided to put that knowledge to use.

She hoped the baking business would help her generate an income that would support her household. The main challenge that she faced, however, was lack of market.  Determined to get the word out, she began going door to door, pleading with shop owners to sample what she baked.

But her business would not grow.

Shylet came in contact with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in July 2020 as a member of Kubatana Star Club. The dedicated mother received entrepreneurship, life motivation and health training from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. The training she acquired taught her how to identify business opportunities and grow the market. The training also encouraged and motivated her to value her life and health.

Shylet had this to say: “I received entrepreneurship, life motivation and health training from the Hand in Hand team. That training has taken me this far as it helped me identify business opportunities that are within my community.”

“At that time, I realised those that owned grocery shops were making money and at times they would run out of groceries leaving community members with nowhere else to buy. I decided to become a real entrepreneur by taking the risk of opening a shop at Mapiravana shopping centre. I am grateful to Hand in Hand,” she said.

 Shylet had a total of US$240 that she used to rent a shop and purchase her first items. Shylet’s grocery store seems to be yielding positive results as she realises an average of US$350 from her sales every month.

Shylet is fully equipped with the knowledge on record keeping and business management.

“I take pride in the efforts made by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe to mould me. I am now a strong and empowered woman. From a poor woman who went door to door so that people could buy her buns to a successful shop owner. I am now able to cater for my children and support my husband. My wish is for Hand in Hand Zimbabwe to empower more young women trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty so that they can fend for themselves,” she narrated

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