With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic women entrepreneurs across the globe have faced many challenges. Micro and small businesses in Zambia have not been exempted, among the challenges are business closures, lack of finances, economic instability, failure to innovate, lack of information, e.t.c.
After conducting a survey, She Entrepreneur created a course in response to the challenges faced by our members.
Small Business Academy was born to support women entrepreneurs to overcome the realities of doing business during a pandemic.
The course, was a five day program for women entrepreneurs, that started off by introducing the idea of product identification and how knowing exactly what your customers need will help create a solution oriented product. The program went on to emphasize how identifying who exactly your business is targeting helps businesses know who to sell to and what sort of marketing would work to attract more customers. On the third day, the focus was on marketing and how it can be used to drive sales. The program then went on to introduce basic financing and how maintaining a cash flow can help the business grow. On the last day of the training, the participants had an interactive session where they made action plans for their ideas or businesses.
Post training, the women entrepreneurs, were engaged in coaching sessions to see their business through. We are happy that most participants have been implementing what they learned during the training.
Our hope, is the businesses owned by the women entrepreneurs engaged in the program stand the test of time and create more opportunities for economic empowerment for other women.
Key successes experienced by the women entrepreneurs one month post the program:
One participant has scaled her home based catering business to a brick and mortar store
Three participants have been selected for business financing
Key takeaways from the training submitted by participants:
“ In a nutshell, I learned to be more prepared for investment in terms of financing, marketing and social media viability.” -Aisata-
“It shouldn’t just be about money, instead seek to help your clients solve their problems.” -Tionge-
“The importance of keeping track of income and expenditure for the growth of the business.” -Esther-
“One thing I learnt is that social media is a really important tool in marketing a business and that it’s better to start with one platform.” -Sekayi-
“ I learnt a lot about social media marketing, how to plan my social media calendar and content which can help drive more sales for me.” -Luyeye-
“The one thing I learnt is that no business is too small for one to start and that business will not always go as planned.”