Chrisper John is the eldest of six siblings. She grew up in a village in the region of Iringa and now lives in Kisanga, Morogoro Region. Until 2017, Chrisper was a housewife like many women in Kisanga village. She lives with her husband Albert and their four children; two boys and two girls. Last year, volunteers participating in Raleigh Tanzania’s International Citizen Service (ICS) programme spent 3 months in Kisanga village delivering Raleigh’s rural youth livelihoods programme. This programme is a business and entrepreneurship education programme open to all community members but with a specific focus on engaging community youth. Chrisper John was one of the people who participated in the programme. She used the skills she learnt and developed to establish her own hair-dressing salon.
“I had a vision to start the business before, but I didn’t get chance to that until Raleigh trained us. After I was given the grant, my dream came true.”
“It is good for people to start up businesses because it will help them to earn money and support their families. I was a home-mama and I had nothing to contribute to my family financially. Now I have the ability to support my family.”
This year, Chrisper, and 11 other local business owners who had previously completed Raleigh’s business and entrepreneurship training in 2017, spent a week working with volunteers and Raleigh Tanzania’s Livelihooods programme alumni network. The objective of the week was to provide essential business support to these local businesses. The volunteers worked with each business owner individually to review their first year in business and offer bespoke advice and training. This programme aims to offer these successful entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop their business further.
“It was a great opportunity to work with these volunteers because we gained new knowledge and skills. I learned different skills on business management like working out cashflow. I also learned how to save more efficiently and especially on finding alternative sources of finance.”
Chrisper has not only been learning ways in which she can improve her own business model, but she has also developed the drive to help other young entrepreneurs.
“Now I will be able to help young entrepreneurs by sharing my knowledge and business skills. Most small entrepreneurs in rural Tanzania lack knowledge on business management so this is the area that I will try to support them on.”
In the past three years alone 1,924 young entrepreneurs like Chrisper John have successfully completed the Raleigh rural youth livelihoods programme in Tanzania. 812 of them have set up enterprises with seed funding from Raleigh. This programme is one way in which Raleigh Tanzania is providing follow-up support for these newly established businesses, and is part of our sustainable approach to supporting the development of rural youth livelihoods in Tanzania.
Words by Communications Officer Lou McGowan.