More entrepreneurs from 14 villages surrounding mining Barrick Gold have continued to reap immense benefits from the mining company’s programme ‘My business is your business ’.
Through Barrick’s ‘Biashara yangu, Biashara yako’ programme, the company trains entrepreneurs dealing in crop cultivation, poultry, mushroom farming, tailoring and bricklaying among others.
Apart from depending on Barrick’s employees as a market for their products, the company also sponsors the entrepreneurs’ participation in various exhibitions.
Speaking in an interview, Clementina Felix, a resident of Bugarama, Kahama, and mother of two children has her dream came true when she emerged as one of the beneficiaries of a business empowerment programme known as ‘Biashara yangu, Biashara yako’
Ms Felix is one of the 200 entrepreneurs from 14 villages across Mwingiru, Bulyanhulu and Bugarama wards who receive business development training from Barrick under the mining firm’s ‘Biashara yangu, Biashara yako’ Programme.
“I sell it to Barrick employees and others outside the company. I got the idea during my participation in exhibitions. It is attracting the interest of many buyers and I am very thankful to Barrick for giving me the training and support,” she says in an interview.
She added, “In fact, quite a good number of my colleagues are now making face masks and it has proved to be a good business,”
Berita Nyawanga shared similar sentiments, noting that through the training, she has come to realize that one needs more than just capital to do business profitably.
“I have come to learn that for one to succeed in business, you do not need financial capital alone. You also need to be well versed in what it takes to run a business which, in my view, is the key to the success of your undertaking,” she says.
For Esther Lali, her beekeeping business is no longer the one that people used to know before she had gone through Barrick’s training.
“The going has been good. I know quite a number of my fellow beekeepers who are now doing well. This is why the number of women and youths engaging in beekeeping keeps growing in our area,” she said.
According to Barrick’s community relations officer, Mr Sebastian Antony said, “Through its community engagement policy, Barrick ensures that people who live close to the mine do get the benefits that come with the presence of the company in their vicinity and host countries leverage our supply chain and multiples the economic benefits of our presence,”