- Black Forest House
The 10,000 Women program enabled me to identify the weaknesses and close the gaps in my bakery.
Black Forest House is a bakery specializing in fresh, quality cakes and pastries at reasonable prices. I come from a small community on the coast of Kenya where cooking and baking is a huge part of life. When I moved to Nairobi, I couldn’t find a cake that seemed fresh and homemade, so I decided to turn my passion for baking into a business. At Black Forest House, we are known for the uniqueness and large variety of our cakes – from forest cakes with fresh whipping cream and fruit to chocolate fudge cakes and banana cakes – and the creativity and customization that goes into them. Most importantly, we never compromise on quality; our cakes will always taste like home.
Prior to 10,000 Women, I only knew how to be an employee and not how to do business myself. Because of this, I suffered from a lack of confidence and financial management skills. I also had trouble maintaining successful relationships with my stakeholders, including suppliers, banks, employees and customers – I didn’t understand all of their needs and was struggling to make my business sustainable, and it led me to close one of my shops.
The 10,000 Women program enabled me to identify the weaknesses and close the gaps in my bakery. I now use technology to support my business, including social media and software to manage business processes, customer data and payroll, and compare the performance of my different branches. When I started the program, I had one branch and less than 10 employees. Today, I run seven branches and manage 30 employees, many of which are women, and we share a real sense of community and belonging. One of these branches also includes a cake school where we train children and aspiring women entrepreneurs in baking and business skills. I hope to continue expanding – and thanks to 10,000 Women, I know that the sky is the limit.