Lessa Moffat has been in small-scale business since 2009. Over the years, the business has not been giving her the expected profits. She has been trying but to no avail.
However, in 2018 the arrival of Students Driven Solutions (SDS) in Motolosi Village, in the Area of Traditional Authority Chiseka in Lilongwe, marked a new beginning for her family.
SDS is an organization which is currently training women in entrepreneurship. Under its partnership with Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP), which started in June 2018, SDS has trained many women in four cohorts.
Moffat says her family has improved financially since she took part in the SDS training.
“We have been able to mould bricks, which we will use next year to build a house. We also started rearing pigs. We started with one pig but currently we have 17,” the 26-year old says.
Moffat has since encouraged fellow women to take part in business and be dedicated so that they benefit a lot from it.
At Mwandumba Village, Traditional Authority Njewa, also in Lilongwe, Fatima Chipate and Rhoda Biya are some of the shining examples of women who participated in a training organized by SDS. Chipate sells dried fish and also runs a small restaurant. She supplies her food to workers of factories which are mushrooming at Njewa.
As for Biya, life has never been the same since taking part in the training.
The 25-year old is currently selling vegetables and other food and non-food items.
The mother of two says she started being involved in small-scale businesses in 2010.
But after taking part in the training SDS organized, she received a loan which she pumped into her business. She is all smiles with what she is getting now, and she is encouraging more women to be actively involved in businesses
“These days, women have to be vigilant in business. This is very important as it helps in making sure they have basic needs which they and their families can use. Some of the things are school fees, clothes and food,” she says.
SDS Executive Director Chisomo Mgogo says since they started their partnership with STEP, they have achieved a lot.
“Our beneficiaries go through different business management skills, entrepreneurship skills and community engagement. Within the training, the beneficiaries learn how to write a business plan. At the end of the project, they write their business plan, which they submit to the organization. Some participants end up getting soft loans,” he says.