By Sympathy Sibanda
Tracy Mapfumo’s story of resilience reminds one of the famous saying by William Shakespeare, ‘some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them’. She never dreamt of being an entrepreneur but as life as influenced by farm life surrounding her, changed to her current dream.
“My dream is to also give back to communities that empowered me…”
Her story is one of passion and endurance as she had to forego her Masters scholarship to take care of her siblings after her mother passed away when she was only 22.
“My dream after my first degree in Agriculture was to proceed with school. My vision was not clear but as someone who had worked with farmers in my community, my path leaned on agriculture. However, when my mother passed away I had to step up and be the parent to my two siblings” the soft spoken entrepreneur said.
Through finding her way she worked with an organisation that helped farmers with value addition, a process she commends for opening her eyes to start Eny’s treats.
“Working on value addition helped me to start experimenting in my kitchen on how to make bars which I took to work. My colleagues enjoyed the nut bars except one who was allergic. This made me go to the drawing board and make other bars from seeds. It was not even business oriented but just for fun. Making non gluten, non nuts bars has now been our unique selling proposition” she said.
Encouragements from her workmates and her cousin Faith Mberi pushed this affable business lady to turn her passion into a formal business. Nothing could stop her, even her dilapidated fridge and stove only pushed her more. Her zeal and trainings from various organisations gave her the confidence she needed to set up formal operations.
“Looking back, I’m glad that I did not give up, as I now employ some youths, have an industrial space and have expanded my product range from four flavours to ten ranging from seeds, fruits and indigenous fruits like baobab as well”
Sharing on her journey, Mapfumo says it was not easy but joining several competitions in the country equipped her with the knowledge, network and capital to grow her business into a recognised and award winning brand.
“Through networking in organisations such as YEP, Youth connect, impact hub and Fembiobiz I have learnt how to run a formal business and have all operations fro production, sales to finances in place.”
Mapfumo’s dream is to expand her product range and also capture the export market. Her partnership with non governmental organisations also means giving back to the rural population whose impact she feels in her business as they are producers of her raw materials.
“My dream is to also give back to communities that empowered me. I will not stop till Enny’s treats is a trusted brand in every home. We have a captured a market of people with nuts allergens who are usually neglected in the market.”
Eny’s treats is a Zimbabwean based food value addition brand whose mandate is to produce seed bars, assorted seed balls, trail mix and seed butter.