M&B. Can you tell us about yourself ?
CMZ. I am Chimène Mercedes Zema,wife and mother of two children, general manager of ZM CONTRACTORS ET MULTISERVICES. Our service company has been in existence since 2009.We have several entities within the company; cleaning, catering, catering,catering, construction and hospitality.As Executive Director, I am very concerned about women who are often confronted with the sustainability of their businesses. Without support, or lack of training, women drop out.
M&B. Was this your case ?
CMZ. I have been at the helm of ZM for more than 10 years, I am finally on the road to success and I would like to talk about my experience: it is not easy to getinto entrepreneurship. We are afraid of the unknown, we have no contracts, we don't know how to respond to a call for tenders.
M&B. Have things changed?
CMZ. Yes, fortunately, with the new law on subcontracting, our capacities are being strengthened. This is a huge advantage because before we used to think, “How do we access these markets, how do we get these contracts? “Today, we can afford to bid thanks to the newly established private subcontracting regulatory authority. We hope that we, the young Congolese entrepreneurs, will have good markets in the long term.
M&B. It was essential to be a track record to succeed ?
CMZ. Some of them have been so lucky,but not me. Work is the only secret to success, and also knowing how to look for information. This is very important.In our business, to win contracts, youfirst have to go to the source, be part of several chambers of commerce,go to conferences, training courses,symposiums. That’s where things happen, where they are decided. When You have the information, you have the ability to bid. Even if you are not chosen,you are now in the system.
M&B. Do you have a message to send?
CMZ.Women are the future in business!I therefore invite women in business to start by leaving the informal sector and turning to the Fédération Congolaise Des Entreprises (FEC). Once at the FEC,it will be easier to bid, have the necessary information and train you. A woman who is trained is a successful woman!