By Joyce Mukucha
Behind Today’s Businesswomen Development (TBD) is a dedicated, hardworking and inspiring lady who is committed to changing fellow women lives She is the organisation’s leader, founder and Chief Executive Ofiicer.
Uzillah Munyengeterwa-Hove is a certified motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur driven by passion to see every woman excelling in business and personal development.
She founded TBD in 2014 with the motive to allievate poverty, inequality and other life adversities which have become rife and pronounced in the lives of a woman, widow and a girl child. The organisation has transformed thousands of women lives in Africa and abroad.
A focused businesswoman, wife, mother, and a life coach passionately get distressed whenever she sees another woman struggling to feed her family or being lazy.
“Haa neni unosimuka chete (with me you stand up) I can’t afford to see a woman being lazy, mukadzi ngaashande (a woman must work). It doesn’t matter where you go as long as you don’t stop.
“TBD focuses on the empowerment of women through skills development, training, education, creation of vocational opportunities. Business programmes have been at the cornerstone of my vision and leadership in changing and enhancing the lives of women,” she said.
Driven by the same passion of seeing successful women developing themselves and their families, Munyengeterwa started by selling homeware and this helped her to develop a bond with women.
“I would see some women not affording spoons that were going for $USD10 and some were hardworking but they were still lacking.”
In November 2020, she was awarded for being the 2020 First Runner Up Female Coach of the Year by the International Coaching and Mentoring Foundation.
Posting pictures of an adorable award with excitement on her Facebook page, she wrote, “I feel humbled and excited at the same time. I love my passion for working with women and am proud of myself. I discovered that I was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that I could not hold myself back because my passion burned brighter than her fears.
“Thank you all my coachees. I am humbled to have such an honour. I dont forget the Almighty for the gift He gave me.”
In an exclusive interview with Spiked Online Media, Munyengeterwa said she had great plans and preparations in as much as 2021 is concerned. She believes that goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about ideal future, and for motivating oneself to turn the vision of the future into reality.
“The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.”
She also emphasised that setting goals helps trigger new behaviours, helps guides one to focus, and helps to sustain that momentum in life.
Goals, she indicated, also help to align focus and promote a sense of self-mastery. She added that in the end, one cannot manage what they do not measure and they can not improve upon something that they do not properly manage.
Explaining how a goal is set, Munyengeterwa alluded that it is of paramount importance to first consider what someone wants to achieve and then commit to it.
“Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible. Then plan the steps you must take to realize your goal, and cross off each one as you work through them.”
In the past months, Uzillah launched her book titled SHIFT, a progressive realisation of identity and she managed to coach over 100 women on Shift Master Class.
Pertaining to women entrepreneurs that have been supported previously, TBD has been doing wonders.
As of 2019, women made up more than 40% of new entrepreneurs. Between 2017 and 2018, women created 1,821 new businesses per day. Experts studying the trend believe that the growing amount of female entrepreneurs was partly due to the ever-present gender pay gap, the ability to create their hours (cue the work/life balance debacle), and to have greater control over their financial and professional future.
“As a female entrepreneur, being a part of that 40% is astounding and exciting. To make sure we keep the ball rolling until we can get even better, equal representation in the business sector, we must ensure that the choices we make as consumers and professionals reflect our support of female businesses and entrepreneurs,” she said.
An organization that is celebrating its 6th Anniversary of changing women’s lives, TBD is found in all cities in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Canada, the USA, and the UK targets the development of rural and urban women.
The success stories of many programmes and beneficiaries of TBD to date are a real testimony to the organisation and its founder towards achieving economic prosperity, and development for women as a whole.
Many women and girls are benefiting from different projects like farming, business start-ups, buying cars, business trips, improving homes, and driver’s licenses among others.
“I’m so excited ladies. I joined TBD in 2019 December for 2020. Before I joined my life had no direction. I attended TBD Shift Seminar in February 2020 and my life has totally changed. I was a woman who will say, “so long life. I was depending on my salary and it was not even enough as we all know. I had a side hustle but not serious about it.
“After Shift Seminar with Coach Uzillah Hove, my eyes were opened. Night after Seminar I couldn’t sleep. I was restless thinking about her voice saying “What kind of a woman am I?” She quoted this statement when she was narrating her story. It also sunk in my heart. It was not an easy night for me. I booked one on one coaching with Coach Uzillah the following day and I rediscovered myself from that day. I started a new business in February on supplying protective wear.
” I marketed in companies and guess what, I got a big order from a big company. God had already planned this coz I didn’t know that in March my job was going to finish due to covid. Now am supplying many companies, my business is growing thanx to TBD,” said one of the beneficiaries.
Jane Matiwaza another beneficiary said,” I joined TBD on its onset when it was still called Today’s Kitchen. I was one of the first ladies in Bulawayo to meet Coach Uzillah when she came to deliver my Kiraz Pots and she also introduced me to business of selling perfumes.
“Joining TBD has seen me growing to be a wonderful, God-fearing person who is not afraid to take risks. I thank Coach Uzzie for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to excel.”
In 2018, TBD has already achieved training and coaching for over 1500 members for business and income-generating programmes.
Of about 346 women bought stands, over 500 women got drivers licenses, 400 women started building their houses through rounds and motivation from other platforms among other achievements.
Shedding more light on how someone who is part of the 40 percent female entrepreneurs can become a leader or a businesswoman in general, she stressed that it is important to consider becoming a mentor especially young female professionals and entrepreneurs to grow their skills, business, and network.
“Plenty of local and national organizations offer mentoring programs. With a little bit of research, you can pair up with another woman who would appreciate and value your experience and expertise. Mentoring does not only offers direct support to female entrepreneurs, but it creates a chain wherein you set up another woman to have a great career that she, in turn, can pass on, too.”
Late last year, TBD also managed to put money together and purchased a truck in the UK. This was aimed at trying to include women in transport.
“We also do crowdfunding for the land where we develop on our own as women and share stand. We purchased about 20 hectares in Harare,” she said.
Munyengeterwa told this publication that she has seen the hand of God in her journey from the beginning. She said she did not despise humble beginnings but God made it possible.
She pointed out what motivated her to start a business. As a married woman, she said, used to depend on her husband up until he lost his job and they began to experience financial challenges.
“Everything vanished before my eyes and that when I learned that dependency syndrome wasn’t good. This is when I rediscovered myself and decided to start a business to help my husband and my family.”
Munyengeterwa said her greatest fear is poverty.
” I don’t like poverty at all, people look down upon you and whenever you try to get closer to them they would think you need their money. So poverty is not good, it caused me to rise and work,” she said.
As the nation is living in unprecedented times of Covid-19 which affecting many businesses, Munyengeterwa emphasised that it is important for a woman to continue thinking new business ideas and strive to survive.
Explaining the challenges she encounters in as much as keeping TBD growing, Munyengeterwa said it’s not easy to gather different women with different characters, cultures and make them be one as she seeks to promote sisterhood through meet ups and get-togethers and teachings.
Munyengeterwa comes from Rusape. She went to Glen Norah 2 High School and studied at the University of South Africa. She once worked at Hove Development Management Institute. Currently, she is staying in Harare. She is married to Stanley Hove and is blessed with two boys, Muchengeti and Tachengetwa. Munyengeterwa is a Christian who fellowships at Zaoga FIF.
The dedicated lady’s motto is, “Don’t despise the humble beginnings. No matter how small you are starting just be focused and committed.”