Before I became my own boss, I worked as a casual at ZESCO for One year six months; unfortunately my contract was not renewed. As a casual, I was involved in landscaping where I learnt the basics of my current business. Apart from landscaping, I also developed interest in making fountains and other arts works. When I left ZESCO, I worked with my friends who taught me how to make flower pots, fountains and paving. After acquiring the skill, I decided to work for myself.
My line of business deals with landscaping, paving, garden ponds, fountains and pools construction (Middle in the picture below doing paving with helpers and completed work on customer’s residence). Prior to attending the Future Search Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) training, I used to face challenges in marketing my business, engaging people to work with, saving, customer satisfaction and care. Training is important in every business aspect regardless of how small the business is. It guides you in how you can successfully run your business, manage and grow it. It provides the necessary tools to use, pitfalls to avoid and gives you a competitive advantage. The Entrepreneurship Development Program conducted by Future Search Project has left an indelible impression on me. I personally shudder to think what brand of a youth Entrepreneur I would be today, had I not passed through this Future Search regiment captained by the ‘iconic’ Mary Kakumbi, a brilliant student of life’s university herself.
During the Entrepreneurship Development program, the Future Search team espoused palpable values enshrined in their creed of ‘Personal Entrepreneurship Competencies’ or PECS. It is here that I came across irrefutable entrepreneurial principles churned out in motivating fashion. The core of which 10 stood out as follows: Opportunity Seeking & Initiative; Risk Taking; Demand for Efficiency & Quality; Persistence; Commitment To The Work Contract; Information Seeking ; Goal Setting; Systematic Planning &Monitoring; Persuation & Networking and Independence & Self Confidence.
Prior to this exposure I was a business novice with mere survival instinct - A rough diamond needing extreme polishing. Future Search embarked on overhauling my mindset with their trade mark ‘Mind Transformation’ dispensed by the legendary late Dennis Liwewe (May His Dear Soul Rest In Peace) with finesse. He held nothing back and gave shrewd blunt advice about life’s temptations and trappings, how one should Persist diligently in the face of adversity and finally the importance of not losing moral and financial balance after succeeding. Such passion and raw honesty registered deeply in my sub conscious and I immediately re-evaluated my guiding principles on a personal and business level.
By the end of the EDP program I was ready to venture into the cleaning industry and eventually formed my own company called Clean Tech Services Ltd, based in Ndola, and offering an array of cleaning services and products. My perspective on enterprise was re-engineered. The values learnt through EDP have enabled me to provide principled business leadership by setting SMART Goals. I have independently and confidently gone about executing business strategies with Systematic Planning and Prudent Financial Management, as per Future Search training. A healthy appetite for Risk Taking helps me ensure that I seize unusual Opportunities and most decisively I try not to lose the initiative.
EDP made me realize that Networking is a valuable business tool if you are looking to get ahead as it provides valuable insights into the private and public sectors, market moods and trends including regulatory frame works. In applying this principle, I sought meaningful interaction by joining associations and agencies such as the Ndola Future Search Association, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), Ndola Chamber of Commerce and Industry and many others. These have continually facilitated enormous avenues for growth and long term sustainability that would otherwise have taken too long to attain on my own