By Caroline Chiimba/ Precious Marecha
THE cake baking business has taken the country by storm, following a high demand of the product at various functions and occasions like Lobola ceremonies, anniversaries and birthdays. The high demand of cakes can be attributed to the evolving lifestyle of Zimbabweans, who are increasingly incorporating modern norms, whereby Lobola or anniversary cakes are no longer seen as a luxury but a necessity.
While specialty food such as cakes may seem unessential, they are in huge demand and have presented a great start-up business opportunity for most women. During lockdown, some enterprising young women saw a business gap and fine-tuned great talent into a money-making business. The Entrepreneurial Magazine interviewed two young women who took advantage of their talents and are making money through baking.
Rudo Chinoruma (24) Bika-Neni founder
The Medical Laboratory Scientist from Masvingo is gradually penetrating the cake industry through her dynamic way of baking that gives customers the freedom to select and describe the cake design and style they want.
According to Rudo, her business model is client centric as it is more concerned about creating a positive impression to her customers by maximising the product outcome and creating a long sustainable relationship with them.
“We are living in a dynamic world where consumer tastes and preferences are constantly evolving and customers now have unique ideas of how they want their final product to look like, so most of the times, it would be something new or experimental,” Rudo said.
“Being able to deliver the final product the way the client wants and to have a good review always bring courage.”
Narrating how she ventured into the baking business, Rudo said her mother was an entrepreneur and she watched her develop and become successful in her business.
“My mother had mastered the art of making money and she was daring, loved taking risks and had a very innovative mind,” she said.
“They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so is my case because watching my mother doing her work inspired me to become the entrepreneur l am today, even though at first I was not sure which business to venture into.
“Then one day I had a light bulb moment that as much as baking was a hobby which I usually did for fun, it was possible to turn it into a viable business and that is when I founded the Bika-Neni business.
Amanda Midzi (20) High School Student
WHAT started off as a hobby for Amanda has turned out to be a small business where she bakes cakes and scorns for Chiredzi customers where she is based.
The 20-year-old high school student took advantage of the lockdown period to maximise on her talent and intensify her baking to the extent of being a sought after baker for birthday cakes in the small community of Triangle.
Speaking to the Entrepreneurial Magazine, Amanda said when schools closed, followed by national lockdown, she spent most of her time baking to pass time but then later realised that she can actually make money through her talent.
“At first I just baked a cake for a relative who had a birthday and the feedback was very pleasant which prompted me to take baking seriously. People started referring their friends to me for birthday cakes and that is how I grew bigger,” said Amanda, who split her time between school work and baking.
“I normally take orders during the week as I will be doing private lessons and preparing for my Advanced Level examinations. I then do the actual baking from Friday nights and on Sundays.
“My passion lies in becoming big in the industry and making a mark in the baking sector. As much as I drew my baking inspiration from my mother, I also like watching a television show called Cake boss and get to learn a few tactics from there.”
The Terry Goss High school student has taken a step further to empower other girls through skills training. On some weekends, Amanda invites her age mates for baking lessons.
“I would advise young girls and women out there that skills training and capacity building is of paramount importance in starting a business. We are all born with abilities and gifts, and we should utilize them,” she added.