Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Many Cameroonian women dream of starting their own businesses but often complain of not having enough money to start with. If you do not have enough money to get started, we have some good news for you. You can start countless businesses in Cameroon with less than 100.000XAF (184.29 USD)
In this series, inspiring entrepreneurs tell you about businesses they started with just the cash in their pockets.
Diana Mancho – CEO, Lady D’s Cakes
Sisterspeak237: How much capital did you start your business with?
Lady D: Well, I will say very little capital which I can’t really put an exact figure to it. It all really depended on the passion I had for what I wanted to do and the talent I realized I had. So if I must put a figure to it I will say something between 10,000 frs to 15,000 frs.
Sisterspeak237: For how long have you been in the business?
Lady D: Actually I have been doing this for a while now. We can say about 6 years now. However I really didn’t look at it from a business perspective when I started. It was more of the love and passion for cakes. It was until recently say like over 3 years ago when I realized there are more opportunities in this growing industry that I started putting in a business mindset to it. So, I can say I have been in this business for about 3 or 4 years.
Sisterspeak237: You started small, how big is it today?
Lady D: Just as the industry has grown, my business too has grown. To the Glory of God Lady D’s Cakes has experienced tremendous growth. From 1 baking pan to so many different kinds of baking pan shapes, as well as a lot of different molds that we use to bring our designs to live. The orders also have been rolling in to a point where I need to pay for assistance to handle things and deliver quality to my customers’’ satisfaction. There are other times when I will have to recommend friends/colleagues in the industry to handle some orders especially when I am fully booked. This growth has made us to be able to purchase most of the tools and accessories we use. Nonetheless we still aim to grow even further to a level where we will become a well renowned name in the country and why not the continent.
Sisterspeak237: What’s one of the secrets to this growth?
Lady D: Hmmm, if I tell you I guess I will have to kill you so my secret is not out there. Hahahahaha. God has been kind to me really and because of His love, the business has grown from one level to another. Now, one thing which has been responsible for the growth, which keeps bringing back repeat business and new business via recommendations from our customers is the quality of work we produce. Just as in any business, the quality of your product or service will either make or break you.
With Lady D’s Cakes the taste of the cake is one of the things we pride ourselves in. We want the customer to not only enjoy the artistic work on the cakes, i.e. the outer appearance, but to also enjoy the cake when they taste it. We have had customers make orders for just plain cakes without decorations just because they loved it when they tasted it the first time. So I put in all my time and effort to have every aspect of my cake of top quality and give the customer an excellent inside and wonderful outside.
Sisterspeak237: What advice can you give to a Cameroonian woman who wants to start a business but doesn’t have all the money needed to start what they want?
Lady D: Most well established businesses/companies today started small, very small and are giant names today. It is difficult to have all the money one needs to start a business especially in our country where even loans are difficult to get from financial institutions. That said my advice to Cameroonian women who desire to venture in any business or project without the required capital, is that they should think of starting small. As long as you have the vision and determination, you need to focus on what you want to do, get into it and begin to grow slowly but surely. However you must exercise patience because it might take long for your business/project to be established. You just need to keep giving it your best and you will be amazed at what you will achieve. For example when I look back at where I started, I see a tremendous difference and distance from where I am today. If I was discouraged at some point then I’m not even sure I will be giving this interview to sisterspeak237 today.
Another thing too is I will like to encourage young women in this country to always try to look for ways of generating extra income through small businesses which they can grow. This small businesses are what will contribute to the growth of this nation as a whole. I know it is a growing trend and I want to commend all those already engaged in an activity.
Thank you for this interview Sisterspeak237. Let the 237 sisters continue to speak.
Sisterspeak237: Thank you. If we don’t tell our stories, who will?