Just like every other day that I have my to do list, the day of the “FROM AN ORDINARY LUNCH TO "A BUSINESS LAUNCH" was one of those days. As I was about rounding off with the first item on my to-do-list, when Melvis walked in and asked if I could share lunch with her. We have as belief in our office that "lunch tastes better when you share with others" and “ideas come to life when shared with minds that think alike”. Anxiously I responded in the affirmative. After about 3mins I joint her. During our lunch break, we had time to chat out the office stress. In the course of our discussion, an idea came up on.
Melvis is the Administrative Assistant at the office (African Dream) where I currently work. She actually followed me from her previous job as a private secretary where she was being underpaid to this new job. Though one may never be satisfied with the worlds money, Melvis seem to grade this current pay package better than that of her previous employer.
What other source of income could add up to Melvis’ current income? was the idea we dived into. After letting our brains boot we landed on a “Sugar-Free Cake business”. Melvis uses the office as her main sales point and everyday Melvis makes at least 1000frs extra income from the day’s sales! She equally has created a network so much so that she gets command to supply for mostly birthdays and other occasions should the need arise.
AFRICAN DREAM is a social business that was created in 2009 with the mission to develop potentials, empower people, organizations and communities to assume responsibilities of their economic development challenges.
The School of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Studies - SEEDS Business Training is a 6 (six) weeks training program under African Dream with the objective to build, train and support vision – focused and passion driven Entrepreneurs with practical skills needed to start and run their own business.
Upon graduation, the trainees are encouraged to use the skills acquired to start a business of their own and then our team follows them up and offer especially technical support.
The program has trained over 450 entrepreneurs in 25 sessions since 2012. We are currently training the 26th Batch.
One of our policies requires that our team mates and new colleagues take the Business Training. Melvis was opportune to be part of the 25th Batch.
That afternoon, while sharing her lunch with me, Melvis shared with me her business goals. Melvis comes from a background of bakers. Most of her relatives are renown local bakers. Her Uncle use to run a local bakery that was later bought and is now run by her elder brother, while some of her relatives bake for special events like birthdays and weddings on request.
Melvis shared with me how she would love to one day own a local bakery and eventually empower other youths in Banana cake making. Her banana cakes spoke volumes of an already qualified entrepreneur.
Haven listened to Melvis talk, I encouraged her to "Start small with what she had".
With a little push, she started making banana cakes for sale. On day 1, she made sales of up to 3000 frs! Each piece of cake costs 100 frs which means she sold 30 pieces.
Seemingly from observation, her cake business now is not only solving the personal problem of income but, "Mel's Sugar - Free Banana Cakes" is putting a lot of smiles on hungry and sad faces. She also does special Sugar-Free Banana Cakes for Diabetes and also for special events as earlier mentioned.
Whenever we have training workshops or outreach training programs, Melvis comes along with her cakes. At break time, I proudly urge her to present her cakes.
The following are a few questions we usually ask in order to assess how best to carry out our trainings. I feel that they might also help you or someone you know;
1)What worries you about your community? (50 words)
2)If you had the means, what will you do? (50 words)
3)What type of Business can you do? (50 words)
4)What is stopping you from starting or moving ahead? (50 words)
5)How much capital do you need? (50 words)
At this point, I will like to personally and openly thank the WORLD PULSE team and entire community for such a fantastic forum and for permitting a man like me to share stories too.
I have a goal this year to support 1000 women Entrepreneurs by training them on how to integrate technology into their entrepreneurial ideas by December 31st 2018. (More on that on my next post … this one is already too long).