Thursday, September 29, 2011

There is a new business in town

 Written by Krystle Praestiin, ADRA Malawi Intern

Rose Feza- entrepreneur
Meet Rose Feza she is a single mother of five children and a successful entrepreneur who had a vision for developing an energy saving stove business. Now her vision is selling like water in a desert.

Before she started her business Rose was finding it difficult to survive on piece works because it wasn’t providing a stable income. So when ADRA Malawi came to her village offering trainings in how to make energy saving stoves Rose jumped at the chance to learn.

Equipped with this new knowledge and access to funds from her village savings and loans group Rose started making energy savings stoves with other women in her village to sell to her neighbours and surrounding communities.

Rose discovered that demand for energy savings stoves is high because it is a new innovation to Malawi and it is very popular due to its many benefits such as: reducing the amount of firewood needed to cook a meal, which in turn reduces the amount of time women spend collecting firewood allowing them more time to do other things.

As a result, Rose is able to sell all the stoves that she manages to make within a week (usually 10), in just one day. She has even found that sometimes demand is often higher than she is able supply.

The success of her business has allowed Rose has make plans for the future of her business. Her visions are:
An energy saving stove made by Rose
1.    To open a little store at the local market where people can buy and place orders for stoves. This means that she will have a larger customer base and she won’t lose customers if she has run out of stoves.
2.    To start up an ‘energy saving stoves” guild with other ladies in her village who were also trained. This will ensure that the quality of the stoves is maintained and will give her village the reputation of providing the best quality stoves in the whole district.
3.    To scale up her production to 15 stoves a week by hiring someone to help her make the stoves.

 Since starting her business Rose can pay for her girls to continue their education in high school. She has also grown in confidence and skill and is now training other people on how to make energy saving stoves. This has provided her with another avenue for receiving income because she can charge money for her training services.

Another benefit that has come out from being trained in energy saving stoves making is that she is able to transfer these skills to her daughters, who are already starting to help her in their spare time. By passing on her knowledge she is providing her girls with viable skills to continue earning an income that will support their own future families.

Rose and her daughter with their tools
It is inspiring to meet someone who seizes an opportunity with great enthusiasm and turns it into something that can greatly benefit her family. It is also great to see that by providing Rose with a skill she can now make plans for her future because she is not worried out merely surviving the day.

All it took to transform this woman’s life and her family’s life was firstly her determination to make the best of an opportunity and finally an opportunity to learn a new marketable skill.

It is stories like this that encourages ADRA Malawi to continue providing communities with opportunities for education and training, in order to open doors to brighter futures.

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