“FROM AN ORDINARY LUNCH TO "A BUSINESS LAUNCH"

Ndimofor Aretas
Posted April 6, 2018 from Cameroon
Mel's Sugar-free Banana cake
Mel's Sugar-free Banana cake is served!
Mel's Sugar-free Banana cake
Mel's Sugar-free Banana cake: A slice of Mel's Sugar-free Banana cake (1/3)

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".

She did!

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).

Comments 25

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Stella Akinmolayan
Apr 06, 2018
Apr 06, 2018

Great Vision. I learn from this.

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 07, 2018
Apr 07, 2018

Thank You very much Stella, for taking out time to read my story.

I feel very motivated to continue.

I just wish to know more about what you learned from the story from your own perspective.

Nnenna Hannah okoh-Metu
Apr 07, 2018
Apr 07, 2018

Weldone,keep inspiring.

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

Hi Nnenna, Thank you very much for your comment. I will do my best to keep the flame up!

Jill Langhus
Apr 07, 2018
Apr 07, 2018

Hi Ndimofor. Welcome to World Pulse:-) Thanks for sharing your story and work. The entrepreneurship training sounds awesome. Do you have a website and/or social page(s) to share, so we can follow them?

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 07, 2018
Apr 07, 2018

Hello Jlanghus,

Thank you for your interest in my post.

We do have an active facebook page for the program. Our Website is still under construction.

This is the link to our Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/seedsbusinessclasses

Jill Langhus
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

You're welcome:) Thanks for sharing... I've liked your FB now.

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

:) Thank you very much.

Jill Langhus
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

You're welcome:)

leila Kigha
Apr 07, 2018
Apr 07, 2018

Wohoooo!
Congratations. It's a beautiful thing when we have and see #Heforshe in action.
Keep up the beautiful work and we look forward to tasting Mel's banana cakes

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

Hi Leila, Thank you for your encouragement. I will make sure I inform Melvis about her wonderful fan.

I look forward to meeting you in person in Cameroon.

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

Dear Aretas,

Welcome to WorldPulse! I loved reading your post. It was like meeting you in person, your loving character is in every line. I loved reading how you and Melvis sat down together to lunch together, to 'let your brains boot'. I loved the description of such a collaborative office and program, and the plan of a sugar free bakery option is what is needed worldwide as so many people struggle with diabetes. I look forward to your next post.

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

Dear Verrall,

Thank you for the warm welcome and for the sugar-free bakery approval.

I'm highly motivated to ensure that I support innovative women in my community.

Cheers.

SIMON MUREU
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

IT is a good encouraging others to try their hands in something

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

Dear Simon, Thank you for reading my post and sharing your thoughts.
Thank you for your encouragements.
I feel that Entrepreneurship is all about going all out and "Taking Calculated Risk"

Sophie Ngassa
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

Hello Aretas, Big congrats for sharing your story here. i appreciate your efforts in assisting women to excel in business.

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

Hi Ma Sophie,

I used to meet with you offline and think "what a Great Woman"... but you held my hand and led me to World Pulse... Now I am Exclaiming... 'WHAT AN AWESOME COMMUNITY" of SILENCE BREAKERS!

You remain an inspiration.

Beth Lacey
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

An amazing success story for Melvis and African Dream. Thank you for sharing.
Beth

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 09, 2018

Hello Beth and Welcome to the World Pulse community.

Thank you very much for sharing your Positive thoughts about my story.

Here at World Pulse, I get inspired daily by wonderful people like you!

Urmila Chanam
Apr 11, 2018
Apr 11, 2018

Dear Ndimofor,

What an amazing read and a fresh change from what I have read today! I have witnessed success in business and career when technology/internet and access to it and ideas are put together and I am so thrilled to read your story. Keep sharing.

Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam,
India
[email protected]

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 14, 2018
Apr 14, 2018

Hello Chanam,
Thank you very much for reading my story and leaving your thoughts.
And thank you for the encouragements.
I will do my best to keep on encouraging the women in my community.

Bim Adegbite
Apr 12, 2018
Apr 12, 2018

Thanks for sharing. We need more men like you who support women to dig deep and find themselves. Your kind of support is refreshing to read. Wishing you the best in your goal for this year which would be awesome to accomplish.

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 15, 2018
Apr 15, 2018

Hi Bim,
Thank you very much for your encouraging words.
I believe that I will attain the goal and even more thanks to wonderful World Pulse members like you.

Sister Zeph
Apr 16, 2018
Apr 16, 2018

wow this is really amazing what a way to empower women, I really like the questions which you ask from women in your workshops this is one of the best ways to know what they really want to do in their lives to lift up themselves and their communities, thank you so much for doing what you are doing my dear

Ndimofor Aretas
Apr 16, 2018
Apr 16, 2018

Hello Sister Zeph.

Thank you for the interest in my story.
Your encouragement is heart soothing and has already handled the challenges I might face in future.
It is thanks to great people like you that I feel motivated...

I have another great story you may love to read later... it's my second post so far...

Thank you and best regards to your family...