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Cup Cake Maker Soldiers On

OAGENG BATENEGI
Chimoli's products
She financed her business from her tertiary school allowance, thereafter she simply re-invested the proceeds to grow the business. However, it is the P10,000 that she won from the BW YALI network competition that also helped boost her business.

Aspiring entrepreneur, Gorata Chimoli started with just baking cakes.  But now she has expanded her business into providing ready-made pre-mixes for other traders in the industry.  In her experience, the supply of such ingredients is lower than the demand.

She therefore wants to tap into that market hence the need to financially resource her business to fill the gap.  She emphasises on the need to supply raw materials to the industry.  Chimoli who started making cakes and cupcakes for her clients, said some of the ingredients she uses are from outside the country.  She therefore wants to help others in the industry manufacture baking products.

Chimoli still operates from home under the trade name CupCakeVille.  She sees her business growing into a large firm employing lots of people.  She said she wants to create a brand that will in a few years be listed in the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).  She also wants to invest more in the marketing and public relations of her business idea.

An Accounting graduate from the University of Botswana (UB), she came up with her enterprising idea during her varsity days.

She thought from the trend outside the school borders, she felt finding

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a job was also going to be difficult for her like many other graduates. One day she baked some cupcakes and decided to share some with the neighbours.  Suprisingly, they asked her how much they cost. Although she shared the cupcakes for free, she gave the idea a bit more thought. She told herself that she could venture into this kind of the business.  She now prepares some of her products according to the customer’s needs.

Since then, Chimoli said she became a regular visitor on YouTube.  That is to enhance her natural talent with some lessons on how to tailor make her products.  She had not formally studied her trade, but she feels the Accounting degree also has a hand in the success of her business idea.

Although her parents were a little bit sceptical about her venture, they now understand and support her, she says. The 24-year-old from Senete says she had to come to terms with the fact that she actually makes a living out of her hobby than her university degree.  Apart from individuals, her clients include birthday and kiddies parties, bridal showers, weddings, workshops and other corporate functions.



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