Margaret Mpofu is a 59 year old mother of three and the owner of the recycling company, Lady May Bags and Accessories. Lady May only formed in May 2015 and already it's changing lives in Zimbabwe.

Margaret created Lady May after a visiting Kenya with her church support group and attending an HIV and AIDS conference. The group met women in Kenya who made products from recycled paper and earned a living from them. Margaret left Kenya feeling inspired.

Margaret learnt their unique crafting skills and then began innovating – coming up with new products and accessories. Within two months Margaret began selling her products and promoting these unique Kenyan crafting techniques. Margaret soon gained a diploma in Micro Business Activities on Business Management from the Bulawayo Projects Centre and was then introduced to PROWEB

Below Margaret shares her experience of working with PROWEB.

Virgin Unite, PROWEB

Since working with PROWEB I have learnt how to market my products through social media, print business cards and have had the opportunity to be in Bulawayo’s local newspapers (including the Chronicle and B-Metro). This was good marketing for my business as it has brought a lot of interest from the locals who are now placing orders for my products. 

I would like to thank PROWEB for the 2016 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) opportunity they provided us. I managed to get so many contacts from people who wanted to be trained on how to do beadwork. I will soon be offering paid consultancy work, something I would never have thought to do without PROWEB’s help. What’s more, I’ve since received an offer from a travel agent in town who wishes to display my products in his shop. 

Virgin Unite, PROWEB, Jewellery

My local community has also gained skills and soon my training will benefit others as I have been invited to train people in places such as Bubi, Umguza, Marula, Murehwa and Mhondoro-Ngezi to name a few in Zimbabwe. The training will also reach orphans in a school run by a woman called Mrs Hill – after Mrs Hill placed an order for some of my bags she offered to partner with me so that the orphans could receive training and a new set of skills.

I would like to thank PROWEB for assigning Nomathemba Ndlovu as my mentor, she is such an amazing woman full of so much knowledge. She has already taken my business to another level through the mentorship programme.

Virgin Unite, PROWEB, Jewellery

On our first meeting Nomathemba got me looking at my business in a different way, especially when it comes to displaying my products, which she says must tell a story to customers. She encouraged me to have a website and hire the services of a professional photographer, as well as advise me to exhibit at the Sanganayi /Hlanganani at the Trade Fair grounds in Bulawayo – a national event attended by locals and international business people

More exciting things are to come. I have been promised a stand at the City Hall by the Bulawayo City Council. Thanks to the PROWEB team for opening my eyes and for taking me to a higher level of business. I am so grateful and proud to be associated with PROWEB and Virgin Unite as they work to empower women.

To learn more about inspirational entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe visit PROWEB’s website.