Maureen Bennett would you like to introduce yourself to Shout-Africa readers, please?
Thank you I am happy to be here on this useful platform.
- What does this nomination at the Zim Achievers awards mean to you and your business?
I am honoured and humbled to have been nominated in this category among some talented individuals. As entrepreneur we work extra hard and it’s nice to get appreciation from my own community. Well , my business will get a lot of exposure and hopefully this will increase revenues this year.
2. Are you familiar with some of the other nominees in your category and the other categories?
Not at all but I have contacted some of the nominees and we have been talking business, so hopefully we will come up with something innovative for our community. To be in a category of entrepreneurs, trailblazers in their individual fields is humbling indeed. Each of us, no matter our niche, is part of the growing community of dynamic Zimbabwean business people that can make a positive impact on our nation’s prospects for the future.
3. Was there any particular reason that made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
My family members are entrepreneurs and I picked up some of the skills and knowledge from them . My mother owned a “tuck shop” and I worked in there . Working in the tuckshop helped to think outside the box and ever since I have always come up with ideas. My brother is also a business and my mentor as well. He introduced me to the world of buying and selling and ever since I have not looked back.
4. What is the best way to describe your business?
Students easymove is a company for students by students. It focuses on helping students move up and down the country for as little as £12.99 a suitcase. We also provide storage for students during the summer period for £1 per item per week . We also offer expert packing services , or students can buy packaging from us . With easy local drop-off, or collection . Finally we provide end of tenancy cleaning for students.
5. How and when did you come up with your business idea?
My first business in England was working at the market and whilst working I was in contact with a lot of students and most of them complained about moving out from their accommodation after university. So I thought why not use the van and help students to move. From then on ideas kept coming and eventually student’s eaymove was established.
6. What are some of the biggest challenges you faced starting up and how did you overcome them?
Well, being a student meant that I had to learn to balance university work and business. At the beginning it was difficult but with time I got the hang of it. As you know I am a scientist and I have little knowledge of the theory side of business and to overcome challenges I faced with finance and marketing strategies I do a lot of reading. To me money was never a problem because I was told from a very young age that you do not need money to start a business, all you need is your vision and faith in God and the rest will fall in place. With time, money did come to me and I was able to make my dream a reality.
7. What are the biggest challenges you face now?
Once again I am in my final year of university and the main challenge is finding time to do dissertation and expand my business. I am looking to expand my company to other campuses and hopefully I will be able to do this as soon as I finish my degree.
8. What advice would you give other Zimbabwean entrepreneurs starting out today?
My advice is to PLAN ! Because most people “fail to plan and plan to fail”. Do not ever make yourself think that “you need Money to start a business “ No ! you need a vision and faith and everything will fall into place. As an entrepreneur reading should be part of you , so I would encouraged people to read books – start with the bible then the alchemist!