The Zambian Woman Building Young Female Entrepreneurs, Know All About It.

To imagine and to realize. To dream and to build. The ever embarked upon journey from conception to inception, is one many go through, but few see through. Though anyone can have an idea, not everyone, can implement it in its entirety. But to actualize one as good as a female revolution, within a couple of months, is almost unheard of. Yet, under the name: Young Women With A Vision, one was formed. The creation of a courageous Zambian young woman; Maureen Kumwenda.

Originally from the town of Kitwe where she was born, Maureen Kumwenda moved to Chingola and is presently residing within the city of Lusaka. And it is right in the capital, that she founded her exceptional proficiency building organisation.

After realising the appalling number of young women investing in wasteful activities, Maureen set course to develop the means to foster female productivity. During this time, two words remained the cornerstone of her mantra: self-reliance and independence, as she had established herself as a young woman in business. Both these words became fundamental instigators in the founding of her initiative: Young Women With a Vision. One created to promote young women to utilize their personal skills through entrepreneurship.

"Running my own business helped me grow financially stable and due to my experience, I thought of sharing lessons as a young lady who survived through her own skills."
Maureen Kumwenda. Photo Credit: Twenty Eight Media.

But before taking form, the organization started off as a mere social group. Though not refined, it embraced the same vision as it does today — simply put: developing a faculty of self-sustaining women. This vision resonated so closely with Maureen due to the fact that she had to pull her own financial weight. Her initial efforts to do so were what she continuously referred to as handwork. Saying she used and still uses her hands in addition to her voice, to survive through hair braiding, beautification (makeup) and well... singing. It is through these skills that Maureen was able to cover the cost of her living and part of her education, which included a short course in Journalism and Public Relations at the Zambia Institute Of Mass Communication. Today, she is the proud owner of an outstanding beauty brand called Maudorc Style and Beauty.

For the year 2019, she is looking to further her education by pursuing a degree in Business Administration, starting within the first few months. Expanding on the topic at hand, Maureen strongly expressed her passion to see women utilize their skills, saying her desire is for women to put themselves to good use and have the pride to hold their heads high and vehemently say; "I am capable!" And to Ms Kumwenda, they all are more than capable, the sole reason she strives to make them identify this.
"There are girls out there who are so talented and yet they still want to wait on someone to fund them when they can do it themselves."

According to Ms Kumwenda, women are all too gifted and able, to wait around for a helping hand, when they can propel themselves to vaster heights... heights unimaginable but attainable. Contrary to popular culture, she stands against the young, waiting dormant on wealthy relatives to alleviate them from their financial hole. For the youth to only consider obtaining an education when their 'moneyed uncle' comes around. Against the qualified alumni waiting on the government to create jobs or sustain their financial needs. And finally, averse to young women making like a new age charity, utterly dependent on funds from the opposite sex.

"We do so much for material things that do not benefit our lives. We invest so much in what doesn't pay back. We have all the reasons in the world not to be productive."

Today, Young Women with a Vision, the organization that started with only 7 members holds over 25 enriched members. Maureen's hope for the year 2019 is to multiply the number by the dozens and impact the lives of many more. With reference to the exact number of young women the organization has served, Ms Kumwenda can not precisely state, but can confidently say each and every woman that has undergone training, has been able to benefit vastly from the programs and activities offered. Some of which include mentorship sessions with admirable successful women, proficiency building workshops and personal development activities to better the young women, not only as entrepreneurs, but as individuals too.

Through networking and learning from women with experience, the young women have been able to grow themselves spiritually, emotionally and ultimately… financially. Maureen typically enjoys this, even as to call it a beautiful site, saying seeing the girls put their skills to use and sustain themselves is immensely fulfilling. She often marvels at the level of sportsmanship stemmed from the organization, as the members not only learn from the programme but from one another. As for her biggest challenge thus far? Changing the mind-set of many.

"There are particular reasons people give for not doing certain things, and it all comes from what they are made to believe from their background, friends and society."

Maureen and Organisation Members at Workshop.

Most people have placed limitations on their capabilities, Ms Kumwenda said. Restricting what they can pursue, because to them, success seems unattainable and almost unrealistic. An ill mentality that often leaves them stuck in their unproductive ways. This has posed to be a grave challenge for Maureen, as it is tremendously difficult to rewire an individual's outlook on the world.

Like the majority of start-ups, gathering adequate finances to sustain the organization, has been another challenge faced. To host events, the members had to contribute towards covering all that is needed. A priority such as getting professionals to host sessions and speak to the young women is not free. Neither are venues and a ton of other necessities. But alas, headed by Ms. Kumwenda, the young women are working towards building the organisation into a social enterprise, by developing a supporting business to cover the cost of operating.

So, what does the future hold for Young Women With a Vision to Maureen Kumwenda? In her concluding remarks, Ms. Kumwenda mirrored the popular slogan; 'The Future is Female.' Saying:

"I wish for Young Women With a Vision to birth young women who are self-sufficient. Women who are brave and firm enough to stand and commit to seeing this world become better for us and the generations to come."
An uprising of young determined women, seeking better for themselves and the greater good of the world, is what Ms Kumwenda seeks to foster. The very essence of her organisation; Young Women With a Vision.

The Mainstream

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1 comment:

  1. After the sacrifice and hard working big up to you baby sister.

    ReplyDelete