Two family-owned businesses in Angola are defying the pandemic

Facing the current crisis head-on and developing their businesses has been hard, but successful for two dynamic female entrepreneurs in Angola. In Caála, in Angola's Huambo province, we can find the MMM flower farm, a family-owned business run by Dulce Oliveira and founded in 2008 by Dulce's mother. Its goal, Dulce tells us, is "the simple purpose of producing flowers".

Dulce leads the company now, but her mum still provides experience and guidance behind the scenes. The global pandemic has brought them challenges and opportunities, as fewer imports have fueled domestic sales of flowers. Dulce says that generally they compete with flowers from South Africa and imports from the Netherlands and Kenya, but because of the pandemic "there were no other options, there were only local roses", so Dulce ended up selling almost all of their production after the lockdown.

Ana Marta Castelbranco, co-founder of Kamarta, tells us that everything started with her mother making jindungo at home. Jindungo is a paste made from peppers that most households in Angola have in their pantry. Her mother wanted help with promoting and selling her paste and so she asked Ana. A supermarket at the time said it would take Ana's mother's Jindungo.

Ana is at the helm of the company; Kamarta is the first family-run business to create, package and market traditional foods. Ana told "Kamarta is important because there’s pride when you go to the supermarket and alongside cookies and sweets from other countries, you can also see an Angolan brand and sweets that are familiar".

Running a food micro-enterprise during a pandemic is not easy. Sourcing ingredients at competitive prices can be challenging. There’s also unpredictability with customers. But Ana has taken it all in her stride. They've already reduced costs and adapted. For now, they're waiting because as Ana says, "sometimes standing still is better".

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