Cake mak­ing de­mands pas­sion, pa­tience to thrive – Young Yas­meen

Daily Trust - - YOUTH VILLE -

Text by Lat­i­fat Opoola @ Lat­i­fatOpoola

If you are think­ing about en­ter­ing the food ser­vice in­dus­try as a baker, this is a good ar­ti­cle for you to read and learn from, as this week, our BIZWIZ shall put us through the nec­es­sary to be­come a pro­fes­sional baker.

Amina Yas­meen Us­man who has been bak­ing pro­fes­sion­ally for about a year now, af­ter se­ries of train­ings and classes from sev­eral cater­ing schools she en­rolled in dur­ing her year in NYSC said a good baker usu­ally pos­sesses cer­tain per­sonal char­ac­ter­is­tics in­clud­ing be­ing or­ga­nized, be­ing de­tail ori­ented, have spe­cific knowl­edge as well as spe­cial­ized skills.

The Eco­nom­ics grad­u­ate of Al-hikmah Univer­sity il­lorin who owns Y_Maxx cakes said she couldn’t re­mem­ber the spe­cific amount she started her busi­ness with as she started off by buy­ing one equip­ment at a time from her NYSC sav­ings.

“I started Novem­ber 2014, af­ter my NYSC I started think­ing what next? With this un­avail­abil­ity of jobs in the coun­try, I was like why don’t I turn my hobby into a job and that was how it all started, with se­ries of mis­takes and tri­als we kept get­ting bet­ter.

“Cake mak­ing isn’t some­thing you get into for the money, or else u will get dis­ap­pointed. It is about pas­sion and pa­tience, later on you will yield the fruits of your hard labour bu­tut never at the be­gin­ning, be­cause thehe more money you make the more you have more in­gre­di­ents and equip­mentp­ment to buy,” she said.

The 22year old who takeskes ev­ery or­der she re­ceives very im­por­tantm­por­tant said if she is not com­fort­able­ble with the taste, she can­not sell themhem and there­fore she has formed a habit of tast­ing all the cakes she bakes. es.

She added that so­cial media has helped her in cre­at­ingg lots of aware­ness in her busi­ness, in­clud­ing­clud­ing her fam­ily and friends who also get peo­ple to trust her prod­uct­sts even when she wasn’t sure of my­self.elf.

Yas­meen said she doesn’t’t have spe­cific tar­get cus­tomers be­cause ecause she makes a wide range of cakes, from sugar free, gluten free, egg­lessl cakes, no but­ter cakes for those in­ter­ested.

She ad­vised youths to never let any­one or any­thing dis­cour­age them from at­tain­ing their peak stat­ing that with re­silience, stead­fast prayer and hold­ing onto God, they can be who­ever they want to be.

You clinched the Rolex Awards for En­ter­prise in 2010. What were you do­ing be­fore then? I was run­ning The Small­hold­ers Foun­da­tion. I have been do­ing so since 2003. I set up the Small­hold­ers farm­ers’ ru­ral ra­dio net­work in 2007 with ini­tial sup­port from UNESCO. We have three other pro­gramme com­po­nents: One of them is the Small­hold­ers mi­cro credit, where we dis­trib­ute N20,000 to N50,000 to them. They use the loans to rent land and pay for labour, buy seeds and fer­til­iz­ers. We also have a small­holder seed pro­gramme where we have given over 7,000 hy­brid plant­ing seeds to farm­ers. We started in Imo State, but have branched out and now op­er­ate in Abia, parts of the north-east, south­west of Nige­ria. What chal­lenges have you en­coun­tered so far? One of them is the lack of un­der­stand­ing of what so­cial entrepreneurship is all about in Nige­ria. I am a so­cial en­tre­pre­neur and we need money to sus­tain growth. Small­holder’s foun­da­tion is a com­pany lim­ited by guar­an­tee. There is also the chal­lenge of fund­ing - Nige­ria is not very good at at­tract­ing in­ter­na­tional donors. In the loans, how do are they able to pay you back? There are so many good farmer co­op­er­a­tives all around Nige­ria. Some of them are or­gan­ised, but not reg­is­tered as co­op­er­a­tives, so we register them as a farm­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion. For in­stance, mem­bers could nom­i­nate ten farm­ers for the loan while the other ten that did not get it act as guar­an­tors and se­cu­rity.

Since you got the Rolex Award, how has it im­pacted on what you do?

Apart from some fund­ing, it brought in­cred­i­ble in­ter­na­tional pub­lic­ity. Rolex is a very good com­pany. It talks about your work in in­ter­na­tional media. Af­ter the award I re­ceived great global media ex­po­sure. Some vis­ited the Foun­da­tion and our farmer groups and did in­ter­views. We used all these to at­tract in­ter­na­tional fund­ing. What inspired you to start the foun­da­tion? At a point dur­ing my Na­tional Youth Ser­vice, my boss en­cour­aged me to do some­thing re­lated to agri­cul­ture even though I never stud­ied it in the univer­sity. So in 2003, af­ter my ser­vice year, I cre­ated the Foun­da­tion, to de­sign and de­liver ra­dio ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes and im­prove the liveli­hood of small­holder farm­ers in Nige­ria. To what ex­tent has that been achieved? More than 250, 000 farm­ers have signed up to our ra­dio pro­grammes. We de­liver ra­dio pro­grammes us­ing our ru­ral ra­dio and re­lease them on FRCN, we also de­sign ra­dio pro­grams specif­i­cally for in­ter­na­tional NGOs. We have done more than 2000 ra­dio pro­grammes over the past twelve years, from tomato cul­ti­va­tion, ap­ply­ing fer­til­izer to rain wa­ter har­vest­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing live stock dis­eases.

Yas­meen

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