Linda Bayani may have started small, but her passion for entrepreneurship is taking her small-scale business in leaps and bounds to another level with each passing day.
Born 21 year ago, Bayani lost her parents at a tender age, and life experiences, she says, taught her one thing: “Capitalise on every opportunity that you find on the way as you never know what will provide for you tomorrow.”
Bayani’s journey in business started a year ago when she saw the need to start providing for herself.
“I wanted to make myself look good and pay for my education and I felt like it was just too much for my two sisters to provide all that for me,” she says.
“When my uncle gave me capital, I went into business without hesitation. I started by selling kaunjika (second-hand clothes) in my backyard. But I realised it wasn’t everyday that people came around to buy the second-hand clothes, so I decided to venture into other small businesses, which could cover me up on a dry day,” she says.
From the kaunjika business, Bayani diversified into other small ventures, through which she has been able to support help herself by buying necessities and paying her school fees.
“I have a small hawker where I sell chips, tomatoes, beans, rice and cooking oil. I also go to Mozambique from where I import clothes and other commodities to sell in Malawi,” she says.
For all she has achieved in such a short time span, one would have expected Bayani to be contented with her achievements.
“I’m now planning on other business ventures because I feel like I am not doing enough,” she says
“My husband has always been supportive throughout my business journey and he understands me quite well. When I am busy with school, he helps me out managing some of my businesses,” she says.
Bayani says the ailing economy has had a negative impact on her business as she sometimes has to increase the prices of her goods. Her customers, however, do not understand that in order for her business to grow, she must make profit.
“Sometimes customers think you are taking advantage of them by charging more whereas, in actual sense, you are being driven by market forces,” she says.
On her secret for business growth, Bayani says: “For a business to grow you have to have a passion for it; you have to know how to interact with customers and you must understand the needs of your market.”
She advises young women to venture into small businesses and not only rely on support from other people.