18 Dec MEET LYNDA MWENDE OF YZ-ME INTERNATIONAL // WINNER OF THE 2018 SINAPIS BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION
Congratulations on winning the most sought after Sinapis award. This was a tough competition. How does winning the Business Plan Competition feel like?
I am elated!! That is how I can describe the feeling. It was a very tough competition and my winning only confirmed what God has purposed me to do.
I also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all the finalists. They did very well too.
How do you plan to use the money?
We will tithe and use the rest of the money to buy 10 (ten) additional machines plus the products to stock them.
Tell us a little about your company and what your vision for the business is in the next 5 years?
Yz-Me (pronounced as ‘wisey- me’) International is a business enterprise in the retailing Industry.
We aim to satisfy an immediate need for women who run out of menstrual hygiene products exactly where and when they need it.
Our vision in the next 5 years is to have installed our sanitary dispensing machines in the major cities of East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania)
How did the Sinapis program influence your business?
Sinapis did influence our business in a big way. I joined the program with just an idea and look at me now! I am a fully-fledged business entrepreneur courtesy of Sinapis.
I believe I now have what it takes to run a successful business and have a positive impact in the society.
What does being a Kingdom Business entrepreneur mean to you?
It means a lot to me. My life has been transformed by Sinapis. I do things differently .You have to get it right from the onset and you can only achieve this by letting God be the Chair of your company for guidance.
What are some of the challenges you faced in setting up Yz-Me International?
One was trying to get people to believe in my idea. I was discouraged a couple of times and told it was not going to work for this market and was not profitable. However, this only fueled my passion to succeed. I also struggled to get capital.
What tips would you give to the entrepreneurs hoping to win in the next competition?
Hard work pays. From the first day I set foot in class, I said I would win the competition and prayed about it. I gave it my all. All my assignments were well scripted and on PowerPoint.
One should also focus and believe in themselves. You should not give up even when people don’t seem to believe in you. I represented my class group numerous times in front of the class after small group discussions and never won a single point until the very last class presentation. Confidence is key because you want investors to get hooked to your idea. Do as many practice pitches as you can.
Additionally, understand your business and prepare your presentation thoroughly with a lot of emphasis on the financials. Listen to the trainers as you prepare to pitch and incorporate their inputs.
Lastly, always whisper a silent prayer before you get onto the podium.