Empowering women through sustainable livelihoods

6th March 2020

Ensuring gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This International Women's Day, we celebrate Aska, a female entrepreneur who is a pioneer and role model for other women in her community in rural Tanzania.

Through our livelihoods projects at Raleigh Tanzania, we capacitate and empower women with skills and seed funding to start and expand their own sustainable businesses. Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth, enhancing society through their enormous contribution to economies as entrepreneurs and employees.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we celebrate a female entrepreneur who is a pioneer in her community.

Meet Aska

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.

Aska is the first women in her community to run a shop

“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.”

Supported by Raleigh volunteers, Aska is growing 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.”


You can find out more about International Women’s Day here. Empower women, empower the world #IWD2020 #Eachforequal

 

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