Stories from EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar - Asia
Asia is not quite like anyone who has spent time in the EQWIP HUBs offices in Zanzibar. She is distinctly determined, astute, and charismatic; a unique set of characteristics that make for a formidable business woman. It’s this profile that allows her to successfully operate two separate businesses dealing in the selling of completely different goods. It was while setting up her original enterprise—a corner store selling household products—that she originally had an idea for something more. The combination of fortuitous relationship with a friend who imported Japanese cars and the Entrepreneurship training program offered at EQWIP HUBs gave Asia the inspiration she needed. Her idea was unique, but simple: import used bikes from Japan and sell them for a profit in Zanzibar. Before undertaking on this endeavour, however, Asia used a volunteer position at EQWIP HUBs and Entrepreneurship training to improve her business understanding and her English ability. These skills—along with the confidence that came with them—better prepared her for the application process in trying to secure external funding. As a successful candidate for the Youth Innovation Fund, Asia had acquired the capital to buy her first set of bikes. Now, under the supervision of Canadian volunteers and local mentors, Asia’s business is fully up-and-running. While most would only be able to invest the energy into one professional passion, Asia has managed to keep both her corner store and her bike business afloat. This, we can solely attribute to her own distinct work-style and business intelligence. It doesn't hurt that Asia operates on another level when it comes to ambition and drive.
As an example of just how quickly Asia works, one Canadian volunteer brought up a time in which Asia had purchased a set of 20 bikes and then called the EQWIP HUBs office to inform them of her purchase. When asked if they could go visit her office to take a look at her haul, Asia informed them they would need to make it quick. She had already sold the bikes for a profit and they would be gone later that day. Asia doesn’t wait around for anyone; she makes things happen. It’s this kind of zeal and business savvy that made her a successful candidate for the Youth Innovation Fund in the first place. But despite already operating two businesses on her own, she has her sights set on doing even more. Asia has ambitions on making her signature ‘Princess’ company a well-known Zanzibari conglomerate (of-sorts) that deals in businesses of all types. Some businesses will be permanent and others seasonal, capitalizing on temporary needs or fads that could make her money in the mean-time. EQWIP HUBs is happy to have worked with Asia and we are excited to see what is in store for her and her future!