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I am first woman to own a shop in Kigugu: Aska’s story

Aska is the first female shop-owner in Kigugu community in rural Tanzania who began her business through support from Raleigh young people.

Aska is a businesswoman and the first woman to own a shop in Kigugu community in rural Tanzania. She started her food shop so she can earn money to send her young daughter to a better school.

“When I started my shop, I faced some challenges. I started the business by building a small booth that I set up, selling some small household necessities like tomatoes, onions, carrots and other food staples at home. People used to ask for other services like sugar, so after seeing my market grow I added more things. Eventually my capital grew and grew.”

Driven to scaling up her business and generate more income as an independent woman, Aska signed-up to receive training from young Raleigh volunteers to learn and build her business skill set.

“Joining the Raleigh entrepreneurship project was a challenge for me. I have a child, so my husband thought instead of attending the programme I should stay home and take care of the family. But I am ambitious, I wanted to learn and grow my business, so I insisted to my husband of the programme’s benefits.”

Through the ICS livelihoods programme, Aska worked with young volunteers from the UK and Tanzania to develop a working business plan which will help her take her business to new heights.

“After entrepreneurship training from Raleigh Tanzania I have become more confident in my business. Now have a broader understanding of how to run my life with an entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, holding a position myself as a woman and have largely realised that even if I have no capital I can start and run my own business.”

As a female entrepreneur, Aska is paving the way for other women and is looking forward to inspiring other women in Kigugu village who do not think it’s possible for a woman to succeed in businesses.

“My aspiration is to see more women empowered and independent in generating their own income. A lot of women in Kigugu lack self confidence in running a shop or business, which is why I think I am the only one owning a shop here at Kigugu. There is a belief that shops are owned by men, but this is not true. We women can also generate our own income and make a huge impact across society.”

“If Raleigh continue to empower more women on entrepreneurship, I believe we can enrol our fellow women into financial independence and fight against poverty. That is my dream. Now that I have had this opportunity, I wish to share the same opportunity with other women and empower them with business education so they can also be empowered sustainably.”

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