Extended-form Case Study

Anaya Honey: a story of sweet success

Published on May 30, 2019   22 min

Other Talks in the Series: Intuitive Intelligence in Business

Please wait while the transcript is being prepared...
Hello. My name is Kudakwashe Makuzwa. I'm an entrepreneur from Zimbabwe, which is a small country in Africa.
I'm the Founder and Executive Director of Anaya Honey. At Anaya Honey, we process natural honey collected from over 300 small-scale rural beekeepers and we are also beekeepers, ourselves. So, what we do is that we take the honey in its raw form, we extract it, we strain it, and then we bottle it and sell it through retailers. I'm going to talk about intuitive intelligence in business, in particular, entrepreneurship and how discovering its power and tapping into it has been my secret key to successfully launching my company and staying in business.
Starting a business, and let alone staying in business, is a mammoth task especially when operating in a developing country, like Zimbabwe, which is characterized by economic instability. I'm sure the environment or the operating environment for a country like Zimbabwe can be best described as a VUCA environment, whereby it's highly volatile, it's uncertain, it's complex, and it's very ambiguous. Currently, Zimbabwe is rated at 128 out of 144 for economies according to the World Economic Forum's competitiveness report of 2017. So, one can only imagine the extent of difficulty faced by businesses.
I, however, saw an opportunity in this VUCA economy and through developing my intuitive intelligence consciously, which is what I'm going to share in this talk, I confidently started a business and I grew my business, and I'm happy to say that I'm still operating my business. My entrepreneurship journey started in 2015. But, I think I would rather take it back to 2013, when my partner and I, who happens to be my older sister, decided to formalize our rather informal business. At that particular time, we were just farming. So, we decided that if this business is informal, there's no room for growth. So, we decided to register our company in 2013. However, it was in the year 2015 that I bumped, I would say bumped, into my life mission and papers. I remember the day vividly. I was in Boston, in the United States of America, on the 19th of June having my breakfast at an airport hotel. At that particular time, I was attending the Mandela Washington Fellowship, having been selected to go into business on the entrepreneurship trip. So, we're told that during the six weeks we were there, there was going to be a business planning competition. In the back of my mind, I was just thinking about what kind of business would I pitch. So, I wasn't sure. Ideas were just coming from all over. But, that morning, as I was having my breakfast, I decided to just have herbal tea and some honey. When I held the honey, which was packed in a polyform packaging, an idea just came to me. I looked at the honey and I said to myself, "You know what? This can be a good idea for pitching for this competition." I was working with women in the farm where we were farming they were just employed as casual labor. But, then, after casual labor during the three months, the rainy season when nobody planted, after that, they'll just go back. They didn't have any more money and I could see a bit of suffering in them. So, it had always been at the back of my mind with the critical question of how can I make the life of these women better. So, as I looked at that honey, I then saw an opportunity and said, "You know what? Maybe we can start a beekeeping venture with those women." Then, in a social entrepreneurship kind of model, I could empower these women. So, that idea just came to me that morning and I started working on that idea. Fast forward, I won that grant. But, how did I win that grant? I remember that particular time when that idea came to me, my gut feeling just told me that this was it. My heart was in it because I knew that I was going to help those 10 women that I had selected to work with. My head was correct because of the logistics and the logic of the business was coming out right. It was a viable business; it made economic sense. So, I pitched that idea and I was selected as one of the winners. So, that is where my beekeeping venture started.