By Amanda-Ellen Jojo
WOMEN entrepreneurs of today are vying in unknown territories unabashedly and fearlessly. This is the story of Trish Hakata who is a phenomenal woman who has donned many hats as an Area Director under Toastmasters International and currently she is the incoming Curator of the Global Harare Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and she was selected by UN Women to be a steering committee member for the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) Zimbabwe representing young women in Business.
Hakata is a confident, driven, independent, resilient young woman who is passionate about serving her community, financial inclusion for young women and creating convening platforms for women and the youth to thrive.
She is the Managing Director of Thymeless Gourmet and GoGetter Movement Trust.
On top of that she is a hustler who is not afraid to fold her sleeves and work hard in her pursuit for financial freedom.
The Entrepreneurial Magazine has learnt that Hakata has amassed worldly and educational knowledge and applied it to her successful business ventures.
“I am a former banker with and Honours degree in Political Science from the University of Zimbabwe, have a certificate in project management from the Project Management Institute, was trained for leadership in civic engagement from the University of Georgia in the United States and am studying towards a Master of Leadership and Corporate Governance from the Binder University of Science and Technology,” Hakata said.
Overcoming her own limiting beliefs was the greatest challenge that she encountered in her journey, it took years of soul searching and allowing herself to learn and relearn some principles that became building blocks in her life and career.
She said: “It is very ironic that when I was younger I was very confident due to the fact that I was raised by strong women but as I grew older I got introduced to a society that felt that I was too much, a community believed that a rebel could never lead.
“I was faced with two conflicting views about who others thought I was and lost sight of who I believed myself to be. I had to be intentional about working on “Project Hakata” first before I started any other project, venture, initiative or business.”
Her inspiration to be an entrepreneur is stemmed from her matriarchal background whereby she was raised by two phenomenal women (her widowed grandmother and single mum) in a household with four other females (three aunts and a cousin) in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza.
“My biggest inspirations are firstly, my grandmother, an entrepreneur par excellence who used to sell roasted maize outside a beerhall in Chitungwiza and managed to single handedly raised a family of 6.
“My mum, the most hardworking, creative, proactive, determined and supportive woman I know and she wears her scars beautifully without shame,” Hakata said.
Her former boss, Valeta Mthimkulu, who according to Hakata is a true definition of a go-getter also inspired her.
Hakata takes is also motivated by Kudzayi Dave because she has taught and showed her what owning your story really means.
“My other inspirations are Dr Eve Gadzikwa, the lady who saw the light in me and supported my vision at the age of 2, Edna Mukurazhizhizha, the woman who walked the steps that I would later follow and stretched her hand out to help me, Rudo Kumirayi, Dr Maureen Mwanawasa, Mrs Gwatiringa…women who have molded and built me up to be the person I am today,” she expressed.
Thymeless Gourmet, is a farm to fork restaurant that is located in Newlands, Harare, it started as a small hot dog business at the University of Zimbabwe.
“After university I went on to buy a food cart which me and my best friend used to serve food at events, parties, live shows, sports tournaments to mention but a few. Our business started struggling after a year and my best friend decided to venture into the decor business and I decided to get a job at the bank.
“Whilst at the bank I knew my time there was very limited as I had planned to leave the bank within 2-3 years so I decided to save up money that I could use to kickstart my business again. A year and half later, I left the bank and custom designed a food trailer and revived my food business and rebranded from “Munchies Mobile Kitchen” to “Thymeless Gourmet,”she said.
By virtue of being the Founder of the GoGetter Movement Trust, a network of young leading women, she had a dream of running a hub for women-led businesses in a bid to promote economic empowerment for young women.
In 2019, with assistance from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the UNDP she managed to open a complex in Newlands where not only the GoGetter Movement and Thymeless Gourmet are headquartered but 6 other businesses run by GoGetter Movement ladies also operate from the complex. At the complex, they have accounting and tax consultants who help them run their businesses with compliance.
The complex is a “One stop shop” for anything event related, and the services range from photoshoots, event décor, beauty studio amongst other services. On top of running her business and the trust, she also runs the complex which has accounting and tax consultants at the complex who service our businesses.
“My company represents who I am and what I would like to contribute to the world and my community…Impact Entrepreneurship. I am passionate about capacitating women to thrive and the moment you walk into the 23 On Oxford gate or meet my staff at the restaurant you can actually feel that energy.
“80% of my staff are also women and 90% of the businesses at 23 on Oxford are owned by women. I live by the philosophy that “you do not give a lady fish, you teach them how to fish” and we not only live that out at the GoGetter Movement, we live it out in our businesses too,” she remarked.
ADVICE TO WOMEN LOOKING TO START-UP: I know the idea of starting can be daunting and nerve wrecking, there are voices in your head or perceptions from our society that have for so long made you feel like you cannot do it but I would like to remind you of who you really are. A child of God… and what this means is that you have the ability to be the very best at whatever you put your mind to. You were given dominion over the whole earth. Take time to understand your strengths and create the vision of what you want to achieve and JUST START.. And this is coming from someone who has fallen quite a number of times.
Being able to revive a business that I had started whilst at college and grown with my best friend from a mobile kitchen into a restaurant.
Opening a complex that not only house my business and the GoGetter Movement Trust, but 7 other women-led businesses.
Receiving grants from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and UNDP to grow my business.
Employing 8 young people, 6 of which are women.
HER KEY TAKEAWAYS ON IWD 2022 CAMPAIGN THEME: #BreakingtheBias to me, means showing the world that women can have it all, can work together in harmony and build successful businesses, showing that when women ask for a seat at the table, they are not asking for handouts but rather asking for what they have worked hard for and what they deserve.
BASED on the nominations done by its audience, The Top Ten Favorite Female Entrepreneurs 2022 is a compilation of dynamic women entrepreneurs who have succeeded in breaking bias in their different industrial sectors and this in line with the International Women’s Day campaign theme #BreakTheBias.