Kathy Mwanza’s recipe for success Mixing passion with entrepreneurship Kathy Mwanza

AT 38, Kathy Mwanza shines as an embodiment of innovation and grit. She is an inspiration to young graduates, guiding them to venture into entrepreneurship.

Kathy’s educational journey took her from Baines Primary School to St Columbus High School, culminating in a Marketing Degree and Master’s from Nust.

Her story is one of creativity and resilience, and now, she’s passing on her knowledge to nurture future business leaders.

Her culinary adventure began in 2016, baking at home. Recognising her baking prowess, she traded her insurance job for her cake business dream.

As “Chef Kay,” Kathy has revolutionised Bulawayo’s business scene, growing her modest bakery into a bustling restaurant.

Her enterprise has flourished, adding savoury dishes and launching Fairy Café in Bulawayo in March 2023, following Harare’s success in 2022.

Kathy Mwanza, the brain behind Cake Fairy and Fairy Café, advises job-seeking graduates to consider entrepreneurship as a promising path.

“Your skills and talents can be turned into a business, and you can create your own opportunities. Monetise your skills and talents. Viable business ideas with little to no capital are freelancing (writing, graphic design, social media management), online tutoring or coaching, affiliate marketing, selling products online through e-commerce platforms and service-based businesses like house-sitting, laundry and errands, “ she expressed.

Kathy talked about the importance of harnessing one’s skills for a competitive edge. She advised that it’s crucial to pinpoint your strengths and passions, carve out a distinctive value proposition, cultivate a robust personal brand, foster connections, collaborate widely and persistently acquire new skills.

She advised people who want to start their businesses to start small and test their ideas so that they won’t regret them at the end of the day.

“Validate your business idea before quitting your job, have safety net savings or a part-time job and be prepared to learn from failures because it’s part of the process,” she said.

She said for graduates entering the workforce, a crucial mindset shift is necessary as it separates job seekers from entrepreneurs. According to her, success as an entrepreneur hinges on viewing challenges as opportunities and transitioning from problem avoidance to problem-solving.

Kathy added that the core of entrepreneurship lies in identifying gaps in the market, unmet needs or areas for improvement in existing products or services. She said the core of entrepreneurship lies in closing these gaps, developing solutions that address those identified market needs.

“Your mindset transitions from employee to owner, fixed income to variable income, security to freedom and from fear of failure to embracing learning,” she said.

Kathy’s success is proof that hard work, perseverance and a little bit of innovation can lead to great success. She has become a role model for many women, showing that stereotypes and societal expectations should never limit one’s potential. — @Lo7246Lovelyn

 

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