“BEING MY OWN BOSS”
Meet Pasilidah Atsowa, a 24 year old business lady living a dream that she only envisaged few months ago. Pasilidah comes from an unstable family following the separation of her parents at a very tender age. She was brought up by her relatives until she completed her secondary education. Her family was not able to further her education because of poverty.
A form four secondary education leaver, Pasilidah decided to look for a job to sustain herself. Her first job was as a house help for one year earning a monthly salary of USD 50. However, the job got terminated following her employer’s relocation from Nairobi back to her rural home. She got another job as a casual worker by a cleaning services company known as Spik and Span, a job she did for 2 months before being terminated.
While working at the cleaning company, she had been able to save about USD 80 which she used to start a business of selling potato within Kawangware estate. However, the business capital was drained out by her upkeep expenses and survived only for four months. Pasilidah also admits that her poor business skills contributed to her business failure.
In January 2018, Pasilidah got another job in a cleaning company earning a monthly salary of USD 60. It is while at the cleaning company that she bounced into the YTEDC offices and decided to enroll for the business development training.
“I wanted to learn first and get the basic skills of managing a business entered business because many people are in business. I have tried business before and it failed. I Thought that with such training I would have knowledge on business management,” she says.
Pasilidah is a member of Avaluhya cohort and is 6 weeks into the business training.
“My most exciting lessons are on saving discipline and business development and diversification.”
Following the training, she has put the skills into practice by starting a food business of selling porridge and sweet potatoes (snacks). Her customers are drawn from within the offices from where she is working as a cleaner. She started the business with a capital of USD 10 where USD 5 was from her saving from her salary and the rest USD 5 was a loan from a friend.
The now 3 week’s old business is earning her an average net profit of USD 4 everyday and has so far a cumulated about USD 30 by her USD 2 daily saving. Pasilidah is quite excited about her business and plan to grow her it within this year and quit employment by Dec.2018 to become a fulltime business woman by Jan 2019 which is her dream.
“I’m running this business very professionally now because I do not want it to collapse like the previous one. And the business skills on customer care have also helped me because I’m able to relate well with my customers,’ she says.
An empowered woman is a happy woman
Pasilidah selling the sweet potatoes to her customers
Her pricing is determined by the nature of her customers most of whom are low income earners. She sells a mug of porridge at USD 0.2 while a piece of sweet potato goes at USD O.5 and makes average daily sales of USD 7.5.”In the next one year, I want to own a permanent hotel where I will sell diverse foods and drinks. This training has opened up my mind to believe that indeed I can be my own boss and employ other youth.”
Her future plans
I want to start New Year2019 as a business woman and not as a cleaner. I want to open a permanent stall/premise for the hotel business selling flies/chips, sausages and acquire more modern equipment for the business.
Her message to other young women.
“I would like to encourage young women like myself that self-employment is the key to success. When you are employed you can easily get fired, like my supervisor threatened to fire me last week claiming that I had come to work with a trouser.
I advise such women to join the YTEDC business training classes and gain skills to provide them with economically independence. There are many opportunities in self-employment. You can never go wrong with self-employment especially on food business.”
YTEDC continues to reach out and train young women who are the mothers to the future and to enable them nurture a successful generation into prosperity.