A Lilongwe-based entrepreneur Rosebill Satha has found a lucrative market for cane products in the US.
The 28-year-old, who works for Ulendo Safaris, comes from Zomba. She developed her interest in cane products when she was at Lilongwe Technical College.
Satha has been making baskets, cane chairs, swings and broom handles since 2005.
“I started this business as a hobby. Later, people saw that my products were good and they asked if I could sell them some. That is how my business started,” she said.
But her luck changed in 2009 when one of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s daughters ordered 1 000 baskets for her wedding.
“From that day, I knew I was sitting on gold and I employed four people to help me with the work,” she said.
Last year, she won a four-month scholarship to study in the US and she used that opportunity to establish a business network.
“I took 60 baskets, some curios and jewelleries to the US and they sold like hot cakes. I made about 400 percent profit than what I could make here,” said Satha.
For the past months, she has been sending baskets to the US through DHL and in March she plans to send a bigger consignment.
On challenges, she said filling forms when exporting goods is a cumbersome process.
“Besides, it is also not easy to balance business and work, but through hard work, I am managing,” she said.