Name: Thokozani Amanda Chimasula
Business: Tac-Maz Sustainable Ventures
Location: Blantyre, Malawi
Reason for starting? I have worked as a Child Protection Manager and national Equality Coordinator for two reputable international organizations in Malawi. In my usual interaction with different people from different backgrounds across the nation, I noticed the different challenges that the underprivileged met that made them susceptible to different vulnerabilities. I then learnt that one of the main challenges was annual hunger, which was mainly as a result of climate change and economic instability. It was at that moment that I decided to go into farming for profit-making as well as for service to the people around me. It is this business that has launched a new dawn of a possibility to raise and grow indigenous foods that emit less carbon in management, yet are rich in nutrients and easy to manage.
Related: Read about another Agriculture entrepreneur here.
How do you define success? To me success is a shared testimony of achievement that comes in as a result of a group of people who have tirelessly worked together to bring about positive change in their lives and the people around them. Success is beyond one man’s show, it is for a greater group of people that will create a chain of sustainability in what ever domain is being worked at. Like in my case, having my idea of sustainable farming is one thing, and having it implemented is another. It couldn’t have happened by myself. It had to take my team and the support of my community to arrive at establishing this venture.
Biggest success: My biggest success is that moment when I had a thorough self-reflection in trying to find my purpose and blend it with my passion. And so that was the birth of Tac-maz Sustainable Ventures, which had started with designing and fitness services. But looking at a greater need to feed the 9 billion growing world population, I thought the farming business was my perfect fit. So in a nutshell, my biggest success is Tac-Maz Sustainable Ventures and the team that has made it so. And to know that this business is not just profit-making, but also a social venture that aims at contributing to the creation of sustainable communities through youth empowerment and sustainable-farming skills building is a plus to the success.
The goal is to be one of the biggest organic food suppliers in the region. With our variety breeds of organic livestock and crops, we intend to reach out to not only city people as it has been, but to everyone around us based on their need. We will participate in national and international trade fairs to market our unique value propositions. We will also develop a mobile app that will facilitate learning among the involved young people, receive feedback from customers and link our business to markets. We want to be best known for a variety of organic foods we are able to supply to our customers, even those who are unable to access markets.
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What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Starting up has really been the biggest challenge of it all. It took me years to save and one and half years to resign from my work into the establishment of this venture. As much as we are still in the start-up stage, a lot of effort was really made into the construction of the structures. We now have a good number of livestock houses and shelter and cropping land. We are, however, trying to generate more revenue for business growth through selling of some farm products that mature faster. It is a gradual process, but surely we will get there.
Who is your most important role model? My most important role model is Cherie Blair, a founder of Cherie Blair mentoring program. She inspires me to bits. By starting this program she has reached to a lot of women worldwide who are making strides in their businesses. I think she deserves kudos, for she is really contributing a lot to the development of the world. I aspire to be like her, to contribute to world positive change through my business.
Edited by The Story Exchange