About nine years ago, Tebby Chifedi wouldn’t believe that she would turn out to be a successful entrepreneur.
Years later, she is a proud owner of Tlokweng-based Scotchfield Bakery, thanks to Kgalagadi Breweries Limited’s Kick-start programme.
Scotchfield Bakery, which made the ‘Botswana 50 cake’ produces bread loaves, cream doughnuts, cakes, scones, and biscuits to mention a few. It employs 20 people.
Chifedi’s entrepreneurial journey can be traced to 2011 when after completing her studies she starting knocking on the doors of financial institutions in a bid to get funding for her business plan, which needed P4 million. After being turned down by banks due to lack of collateral, she took their advice of starting small. She then did some research and realised that there was no bakery in Tlokweng.
“I used to go buy bread at Village Spar and always met people even from my home village Tlokweng at the same spot. I realised that if they can came all this way to get bread what if I brought the bakery closer to them,” Chifedi recalled.
The then determined budding entrepreneur decided to small scale her business; took her savings and opened a bakery in Tlokweng mall, which is adjacent to the Post Office. Housed in a small office, she hired two people and started baking bread; producing 50 loaves per day. By then her clientele was mostly walk- ins as she was using the retail business model.
She managed to sustain the business despite the teething challenges that most entrepreneurs face. It was some years later when she learned about the
“I saw the KBL Kick-start advert two weeks prior to the closing date and decided to just try my luck. Fortunately I was absorbed, went through the training and was financed to the tune of P250, 000,” she explained.
Under the KBL mentorship, she bought machinery in quest to diversify her business. She also moved her operations and rented a bigger space.
With the assistance of KBL, she rebranded the business and increased production as she started supplying shops and tuckshops. KBL was also instrumental in assisting her secure some funding from Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) to buy the building she is currently operating her bakery from.
Currently Scotchfield bakery produces 2,000 bread products per day and operates 24 hours under three shifts. The company also supplies government schools in Tlokweng, Kgatleng and Ramotswa.
According to Chifedi, she plans to increase her staff personnel from 20 once she opens another bakery in Kgatleng in October this year. In addition, she also has plans to venture into the frozen food products as she is currently doing some research on frozen buttermilk scones to allow chain stores to shelf their products.
“The business is growing and the government has been instrumental in our success story as well as giving us tenders,” she said.
Just like any other business, Scotchfield bakery has faced cash flow challenges and face stiff competition from the well-established chain stores.