Shout-Africa.com speaks to Lucia who commenced practising law in 2002 and started trading in 2004. Her law firm, Peters and Company Solicitors, specialises in mental health law, social welfare, housing and family law.
Lucia would you like to introduce yourself to Shout-Africa readers, please?
I am from Zimbabwe and I emigrated to the UK in 1991, I then commenced nurse training and got qualified in 1991. After nurse training I commenced law school in 1996 and completed all academic and professional requirements by 2002. I worked for 2 law firms prior to setting up on my own.
1. What does this nomination at the Zim Achievers awards mean to you and your business?
This nomination at the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards is evidence of self actualisation professionally. It is an indication that hard work pays. It is an affirmation from the society around you that the objectives that I may have set personally, have been accomplished by virtue of this nomination. Lastly, although the business is already on the map this just enhances our presence. It is an excellent opportunity that allows me and my team to assist more Zimbabweans that may need legal assistance.
2. Are you familiar with some of the other nominees in your category and the other categories?
I have met Florence who has been nominated in my category. I am also familiar with Glori-Anne Francis and Joanna Mazunda.
3. Was there any particular reason that made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I decided to set up a business so as to enable me to realise my vision of a legal practice that assists those that need legal assistance but can not afford it. The firm is predominantly legal aid.
4. What is the best way to describe your business?
The best way to describe the business: Legal practice
5. How and when did you come up with your business idea?
I decided to set up the business after I realised how competent I had been at running the department at my previous firm. I applied for the contracts to the Legal services commission and I was granted the contracts following a thorough audit.
6. What are some of the biggest challenges you faced starting up and how did you overcome them?
The main challenges I faced were being able to sustain myself ad the family. I was lucky that my family supported me. Secondly, the challenge of never being able to switch off was a hard one to swallow.
7. What are the biggest challenges you face now?
The main challenges I face now are a variety of unexpected events that may occur in the office and having to deal with them. It is great fun at times as it gets your brain working overtime but it can also be stressful especially if the situation is proving difficult.
8. What advice would you give other Zimbabwean entrepreneurs starting out today?
Understand the ins and outs of the business you are about to embark on. It is also important to be aware of other regulations that you may have to adhere to , for an example Health and safety, Data protection etc.