In the mornings, Clemence Sidibé works as a nurse in Djoliba. In the afternoons, she sells cakes and fruit ice in the small village located between the Niger River and the national road to the capital Bamako. 

Business, Entrepreneurship

Clemence has always been ambitious, and laziness is out of the question for her:

Business, Entrepreneurship
Clemence Sidibé

"I moved to Djoliba for work a while ago. I also lived in Bamako for a couple of years. With my expertise as a nurse, I wanted to do something good in Djolibaand people heremade me feel at home. When I work, I always give my all. That's what people appreciate about me. Usually,I don't like it when people are lazy."

Clemence Sidibé

Recipe for success: structured scheduling

Clemence morning routine consists of writing her to-do list of all the tasks she needs to complete during the day. One of her typical to-do lists might look like this: 

  • First, go to the infirmary 
  • Buy ingredients for the business: hibiscus (flowers), ginger and oranges for the fruit ice and some flour for the cake
  • Encourage children to do their homework
  • Prepare cakes and drinks for the birthday party of the neighbors’ son
  • Turn on TV or radio for news

A fresh juice a day keeps the doctor away…

Her daughter, in particular, is a great help to Clemence when it comes to her side business. Since Clemence started her cake business 3 years ago, her daughter has been helping her with the preparation of the cakes almost every day. For a few months now, Clemence has also been running a fruit ice that is doing very well in Djoliba. Clemence offers the most interesting and delicious combinations; hibiscus ice with ginger, orange ice with mint …

Business, Entrepreneurship
Every day Clemence prepares the fresh juices for the fruit ice
Business, Entrepreneurship
Her daughter is a great help to her
Business, Entrepreneurship
Even a tractor stands in the courtyard of the Sidibé family

At the moment,it’s school holiday in Mali, but as soon as her daughter’s school starts again, Clemence wants to find a temp for both stores:

"I want my daughter to focus on school. Education is everything. She should be free to decide later on what career she wants to pursue. To do that, she needs good grades. But of course, I would also be happy if she takes over my businesses at a later stage. I am proud of what I have built up. It took a lot of effort on my part, but it was worth it."

Clemence Sidibé
Business, Entrepreneurship
We had the chance to watch Clemence at her work

Self-made Business Woman

Clemence invested mostof her income as a nurse into her business idea. She received a refrigerator as a gift from her sister a couple ofyears ago. When Clemence heard that Africa GreenTec was coming to Djoliba, she decided to have it connected so that she could buy her ingredients for cakes etc. in larger quantities and keep them fresh.

In the future, Clemence plans to purchase several food bicycles (comparable to foodtrucks just on bikes). This way, her employees will also travel to neighboring villages to sell her handmade treats.

Business, Entrepreneurship
In the refrigerator the fruit ice is cooled
Business, Entrepreneurship
Clemence garden has fresh mangoes
Expanding: fresh fruit ice and cakes for the whole region

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"My goal is to expand, of course! I also believe that I am offering something good for people with my fresh ice juices. They are not only delicious, but also very healthy. And completely without additives and artificial sweeteners, like other cold drinks. The cakes are also something special here in the villages. They are very popular especially for birthday parties."

Clemence Sidibé

Even though Clemence is sometimes very exhausted from working and taking care of herfamily, she is satisfied with her life. For her, independence and activity come first.

"I don't want to be inactive in my life. I have always been like that. I always have new ideas to realize myself and create something good. Because of the money I earn, I am free and can offer my children a future that they can create the way they want.”

Clemence Sidibé
Business, Entrepreneurship
Aida Schreiber, Katharina Hesseler and Larissa Schweyer in conversation with Clemence Sidibé

This blog article is based on an interview Aida Schreiber, Katharina Hesseler and Larissa Schweyer conducted with Clemence Sidibé in March 2019.

You can find out how Clemence is currently using the electricity from Africa GreenTec in another Impact Story soon!

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