Mkami Yusuph Tetere’s Journey from Street Vendor to Successful Entrepreneur

Once a street vendor selling maize flour, Mkami Yusuph Tetere, a 25-year-old entrepreneur, has transformed her life and business, thanks to the pivotal support from SIDO (Small Industries Development Organization) in Mbeya. Her venture, MKAMI INVESTMENT, registered under the number 455640, exemplifies a tale of resilience, learning, and growth.

Initial Struggles and the Turning Point

Mkami’s journey began with modest beginnings, selling maize flour on the streets without formal skills. Her small business was her sole source of income, barely covering her daily needs. However, everything changed when she received guidance from SIDO Mbeya. They encouraged her to participate in a 5-day training program focusing on food processing, packaging, labeling, and business formalization. This training became the catalyst for Mkami’s entrepreneurial transformation.

SIDO’s Comprehensive Support

SIDO’s support for Mkami extended beyond training. They provided her with critical advice on:

  1. Arranging the Working Premise: Optimizing her workspace for efficiency and productivity.
  2. Business Formalization: Helping her transition from an informal vendor to a recognized business entity.
  3. Packaging and Labeling: Advising on the importance of professional packaging and labeling, including the introduction of various package sizes.
  4. Quality Assurance: Assisting in the process of acquiring the TBS (Tanzania Bureau of Standards) mark, ensuring product quality and standardization.

Remarkable Achievements

Mkami’s dedication, coupled with SIDO’s support, led to significant improvements in her business:

  • Employment Growth: From being a solo entrepreneur, she has created five new job opportunities.
  • Substantial Sales Increase: Her monthly sales soared from TSh 120,000 to TSh 4,235,000.
  • Boost in Production: The production of Dona (a product from her maize flour) jumped from 40kg to 500kgs per month.
  • Higher Price Point: The price per kilogram of her product increased from TShs 800 to TShs 1,200.
  • Brand Recognition: Mkami now boasts her own barcode, a symbol of her business’s formalization and entry into the broader market.

Mkami’s story is a testament to the power of training, support, and perseverance. It highlights the potential for individual entrepreneurs to rise from modest beginnings to create successful, thriving businesses with the right guidance and resources. Her journey with MKAMI INVESTMENT stands as an inspiring example for many young entrepreneurs in Tanzania and beyond.