For many young people and startup businesses in Mozambique, getting a foot onto the housing and property ladder can be tough. But that is about to change thanks to Marta Vânia Uetela, a woman entrepreneur with a big vision and a great solution who is exciting everyone with her flexible and sustainable housing solution for the country.
LoA found out more about this progressive company that is really making an impact this month.
What does your company do?
Minimal is a startup business, focusing on the design and modular construction of houses, offices and minimalist facilities for business development, all based on containers and metal profiles.
What inspired you to start your company?
In Mozambique 51% of the country’s population is composed of young people. The huge number represents a challenge to habitation programs developed by the government for young people. Of that number how many have the possibility to participate in those government programs or access credit to buy a decent house and facilities (installations) to start their own businesses? The answer is, very few! That’s why we came up with the idea of Minimal. We are talking about accessible, adaptable, flexible and sustainable solutions to this challenge.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Because at Minimal, we are creating genuinely high impact, accessible and flexible solutions to the access to housing and startup business premises challenge. Our solution is more affordable than a regular house and it is quicker to have your module house built than it is to import a car from China. Secondly, people will have the possibility to rearrange the order/position of the modules to suit their own individual accommodation needs. In addition, our solution offers people the mobility the need in their lives and businesses as they can move the modules from one location to another if there is a need. Finally, the possibility to build our housing in different phases is a huge advantage for our customers, since you can buy one module and add the others according to the needs and timeline requirements of the client. All these advantages make our solution hugely attractive to our customers. It is our vision to try to create a modern concept to the Minimal Living Box.
Tell us a little about your team
At Minimal, our team is composed of creative young people all of whom come with a strong WHY. Basically, we are young people recently graduated in various areas such as engineering, architecture and design, whose main goal is to revolutionize the construction scenario in Mozambique and bring accessible, sustainable and modern concepts to the marketplace.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I am a Mechanical Engineering student with a strong interest in design and sustainable construction who believes in young people's ability to innovate. I recently embarked on my journey of entrepreneurship. My passion for engineering led me to incorporate local materials, containers, and modular construction technology, to create more and better opportunities for access to commercial facilities and offices for the youth market, all at competitive prices. This is how Minimal was born, a modular design and construction startup based on containers and metal profiles. Awarded as one of the 15 best Startups of the Year by Total, edition 2018/2019, Minimal allowed me to receive the award of Best Female Entrepreneur of the Year. At the moment, my role is as Structural Designer at Minimal, and I am working to make available modules adapted for housing and / or commercial use, enabling solutions tailored to the needs of our customers. Our Minimal construction designs are capable of being both sustainable and mobile.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Our goal is to develop and expand our sustainable modular construction projects, making Minimal a reference point for immediate, practical and ecological construction solutions at competitive prices.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
What gives me the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur is to solve problems, somehow improve people's lives, and surely profit during the process.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
“People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, or because the financial side of things is insecure. Too many people are over analyzing the situation. Sometimes you just have to go for it.”
Contact or follow Minimal
Why LoA loves it….
Real innovators see a problem and are driven from that point onwards to find a solution, one that can change lives and impact the world around them. Marta Vânia Uetela, founder of Minimal, is just such an innovator. She recognized that one of the biggest barriers facing young people starting up in business or on their life journeys in Mozambique was access to affordable and sustainable housing and business premises. So she set out to find the solution, taking a very different approach to the challenge than the more established construction specialists - now that’s innovation in action! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa