Ruth Butaumocho Gender profile
Zimbabwean born Elizabeth Rudo Limamu (nee Takundwa) navigates the challenges of doing business in South Africa like any other entrepreneur.
Business glitches are common and lack of financial assistance remains a reality. But Elizabeth is determined to make a name in business, albeit in foreign land. She runs an events management company, Lima Events Management, which is based in Midrand, South Africa.
“I am an entrepreneur by birth, so I am not afraid to push my brand wherever there is space to do and a receptive clientele,” she said in an interview recently.
The company, which is a year old, coordinates corporate events, and supplies an array of décor and catering equipment to companies and individuals intending to host events.
It also has a cake shop that makes and sells custom-made wedding cakes, birthday, novelty and other special occasion cakes. With a growing clientele, Lima has coordinated several events in and around Midrand, Pretoria with plans afoot to expand the brand across South Africa.
Elizabeth, who is also a systems application and products consultant, said she got in the events management by accident. “When I relocated to South Africa in 2009 to join my husband, who runs a transporting business there, I struggled to get a job, despite holding several professional qualifications,” she said.
With a lot of time on her disposal, Elizabeth started baking cakes and trying several dishes at home for her family, which she would serve to friends and relatives whenever they visited.
It was while she was hosting friends at her house that one of them casually remarked that she needed to take her cooking to another level. Buoyed by the encouragements, Elizabeth enrolled for baking and cooking lessons to fine tune her newly acquired hobby.
In no time, her clientele had grown from friends to associates who would phone, placing orders on confectionery and other delectables. “It was during that time that I discovered a business opportunity,” recalled Elizabeth who spent the better part of her time hustling, alternating her time between a full time job at Wedzera Petroleum as a secretary and as a cross border.
Fully convinced that an events management company would spawn a good springboard for her entrepreneurial skills, Elizabeth immediately registered Lima Events Management.
With no proper financial backup to kick-start her business, Elizabeth initially operated from home. “My first event was from a family friend who reluctantly asked me to coordinate her kid’s party, which had 50 guests. She could not imagine me doing a good job on the event, but I gave it my best shot,” recalled Elizabeth.
The success of the small event marked the beginning of Lima Events Management. Lima has since become a household name, competing among other reputable events outfits in Midrand, where Elizabeth, her husband Musa and two kids live.
Although Elizabeth initially struggled to establish herself in the South African’s business terrain, she has since adapted to the environment.
“I have learnt that quality, consistency, good business ethics and honesty are essential tenets in running a business, whether you are in your own country, or elsewhere.
“Good business ethics are crucial and should not be underestimated. They set the pace, define and build your clientele that will grow with you,” she said.
Elizabeth, who is also passionate about entrepreneurship from her school days, believes business can flourish anywhere, once one sets their mind to grow a brand.
“I have been able come this far because of determination. Coming from a humble family, and after failing to pursue a professional career of my choice due to lack of money, I told myself that I would have to work, twice as hard to fulfill my aspirations,” she said.
A lover of good life, all things pretty and romantic, Elizabeth has already set her sights high in building her business and also venturing into other projects.
“This is only the beginning. I am planning on starting other ventures, and I know I will achieve them. I am not afraid of hard work, and I really want to achieve all that I have always dreamt of.”
Even her friends and close associates who worked with her before she relocated to South Africa, affirm that Elizabeth is hardworking, determined and capable individual, who can execute diligently.
A close friend, Ashley Matsangaise, who worked with Elizabeth in Zimbabwe, said it was clear that she would get this far, because she already had a vision of what she wanted to achieve when she was still just a minnow in business.
“To be where she today is a dream come true for her, and I can safely attest that more is in the offing,” said Ashley.
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