By Amanda Ellen Nicola Jojo
THE ultimate force of womanhood has been demonstrated by women’s creativity, buoyancy and exceptional tales. Anchored on the values of focus, determination, self-belief and time management, Lucy Ruth is one of the females who is working tirelessly by creating strong waves in business community.
Lucy was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She left Zimbabwe twenty years ago, on a U.K working holiday maker’s visa. She is fortunate to have multiple residences that is Zimbabwean, British and Canadian resident.
The entrepreneurial focus of her upbringing shaped her thus Lucy is a product of her environment.
“I grew up in the Family of God church in Zimbabwe. I was involved in church and used to help with Sunday school. This moulded me and made me passionate about being a leader. As a youth, Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe used to preach to us and motivate d us to be entrepreneurs,” she told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
“The church played a role in the woman I am today. As women the Proverbs 31 virtuoso woman was always a subject taught by Dr, R.F Wutawunashe, they say teach a child the way he should go, and he won’t depart from it. The church taught us to be go-getters. I also come from a family of Entrepreneurs. Your environment fuels you.”
Lucy is the visionary behind iPublish house and iSubsahara. iPublish house offers professional editing, mentoring, and book coaching services as well as guiding new authors on the self-publishing journey and help them become best-selling authors.
Through iSubsahara, Lucy is on a drive to change the gloomy narrative of Africa. Hence, iSubsahara is a magazine that promotes and brings the face of Africa to the world.
She said: “Often the media never highlights and showcase the rich cultures and talents from all over Africa. The magazine brings various interesting topics related to Business, Culture, Tourism, and hospitality across the African continent. Our motive is to spread positive awareness to the world and showcase what we call in Shona
Nhakayedu (it translates to our heritage.)”
Lucy fortifies the notion that a leader’s personal brand is an invaluable asset that can be utilised for generations.
“The main reason why my businesses stand out is because Lucy Ruth is a brand. Before I became a p publisher, I wrote eBooks that became best-sellers. I am a public speaker and a youth mentor. This helps me stand out and has been the path that opened many doors,” she said.
In 2020, Lucy became a holder of the world’s unrivalled on record-breaking achievement
After four of her ebooks made it to number 1 best seller five time on Amazon and number 1 New Release titles, Lucy is became a holder of the world’s unrivalled authority on record breaking achievement, Guinness World Record (GWR) in 2020.
“The GWR has opened many networking opportunities and interviews all over the world, I have been featured and interviewed by over thirty media outlets and also landed a few TV interviews,” Lucy said
Establishing a business as a foreigner can be challenging because immigrant entrepreneurs are sometimes vilified and portrayed as unwanted intruders who drive indigenous businesses to the wall. However, Lucy acknowledges the Zimbabwean community in Canada who are supportive of her businesses.
“I have a lot of people who support me and are always encouraging and cheering for me. We support each other and some have become family away from family,” Lucy said.
There is no fool-plan that guarantees a successful business especially in a foreign country but for Lucy it has been worthwhile.
She said: “It has been rewarding apart from the fact that occasionally one misses home. There is no place like home and home is always best.”
In this era of climate change, Lucy has prospects of investing in Zimbabwe by embracing sustainable entrepreneurial practices. A research conducted by International Energy Initiative shows that Zimbabwe receives on average good direct solar irradiation thus that is an impetus to invest in green energy.
She said: “…there are so many opportunities in Zimbabwe. With our climate, we should be building more greenhouses that are solar powered. I always see a lot of bananas and produce, and being thrown away and it breaks my heart. We can do so much more with all the excess we produce in terms of food. I believe we need small businesses and entrepreneurs to learn canning, make dried tomatoes, and make banana bread using wood powered ovens. There is so much to do in Zimbabwe. Real estate is also one of my interests in Zimbabwe list, so yes I will and am investing in Zimbabwe.”
Research findings establish that one’s place of residence has a profound impact on entrepreneurial resourcefulness, as such, Lucy’s multiple resident status has shaped her worldview on running a business.
“Having lived and travelled extensively, there is one common thread, the struggles people face are the same. As you can see the whole world, we all were battling Covid-19, no one was immune.
“Right now, many countries are in a recession post-Covid so, my perspective is bloom where you are planted and create streams of income. Don’t get comfortable. Keep up with the trends in your area and read the news,” she remarked.
Because youth are an indispensable force in tackling global poverty and inequality, Lucy is on a mission to empower youth through her initiatives.
“I want empowerment for all youths, we have a lot of girl-child empowerment programs but more need to be done on mentoring the boy child. The boy child when he grows, he will date an empowered woman and he himself doesn’t know how to deal with her and himself.
“So, I urge society, mothers, and fathers to come up with programs that are inclusive to both the boy and a girl child. We need a no child left behind attitude to empower the future generation.”
As a way of giving back to the society, the multifaceted entrepreneur has various social responsibility initiatives.
“I have the Lucy Ruth Foundation which feeds a village in Murehwa. It also sources hospital donations to rural hospitals in Zimbabwe.
“In September we are shipping hospital cleaning products to Chivhu general hospital. I am also a chairlady for Footies Youth Academy (FYSA) which I co-founded together with Coach Shepherd Blessing,” she added.
FYSA is a charitable trust which trains soccer and helps pay school fees for the under-privileged kids.
“Our practice field is at GMB Sports Club. We are proud to serve kids in Aspindale, Kambuzuma, Marimba and surrounding areas,” she said.
During the course of running her business, Lucy has not been spared from the host of challenges that come with entrepreneurship. These challenges include, cash flow, finding people that share the same passion, product pricing, time management and emergency preparedness.
“When I first started, I didn’t research how much to charge my clients, I started by undercharging and made a loss. I was quick to rectify my mistake. I encourage others to do a thorough market research of their chosen niche,” she stated.
As a phenomenal savvy entrepreneur, Lucy is truly an inspiration who has scripted her success story hence several women can learn from her.
Her parting words of advice were; “Chase your dreams and do not allow negative energy around you. As women, often we are responsible for the upkeep of our families and children. You must be hungry for success, you must sacrifice your sleep, you must manage time and your emotions. The main obstacle in women entrepreneurship is burn-out because of lack of support. This is more for women in diaspora where maids are non-existent. Often women especially married women do not have support from their spouses. Many men are intimidated by their wife becoming successful because they fear losing an empowered woman. I always advise men that you must support her so that the day you are unable to provide for the family, the family wont struggle or in the unfortunate event the husband dies. Men are often an obstacle in many women gamechangers. I encourage women to find support groups, attend events and volunteer at events for networking purposes. Networking is a great strategy to learn and grow.”