A salon transforming dream to reality in rural Tanzania

29th August 2018

After completing business and entrepreneurship education programme delivered by Raleigh Tanzania International Citizen Service (ICS) volunteers in 2017, Chrisper John now runs her own hairdressing salon in the village. One year after completing her initial training, Chrisper participated in a second Raleigh-led programme designed to provide follow-up business support to her now well established business. A team of volunteers and Raleigh Tanzania alumni spent a week in Kisanga village working with Chrisper and other local business owners. In meeting Chrisper they met an motivated and successful woman who wants to share her skills with other young women who want to start their own business.

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.”


Chrisper John in her salon


“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.”

Sharing skills

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.

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