Catering business helps housewives thrive
Creating a win-win situation is often matter of connecting the dots. That is exactly what the American University in Central Asia Enactus team did when they learned many housewives in their area were talented cooks but were unable to participate in the traditional job market due to family obligations and societal expectations.
The team saw that these women had the ability to create nutritious meals while many office workers in the city were spending a great deal eating out, often choosing unhealthy food choices, or foregoing eating and working through lunch. The win-win opportunity was a catering business that allowed women to create homemade food to sell to local businesses. In one effort, workers could have healthier meal options and the women could add to their household finances. The team identified four housewives and helped them research the average cost of lunch in the area and what kind of food was most preferred. A final menu was developed and contacts established with companies that would allow for ease in delivery and to guarantee the food freshness.
Today, 15 firms participate in the “Apashkin Lunch” project and hungry employees throughout Bishkek are touting the reasonably priced, healthy food options. The four housewives-turned-entrepreneurs now generate nearly $550 a month in profit. By developing a previously-unrecognized potential, these women have increased their confidence and skills while creating a greater degree of financial stability for themselves and their families.