1 installment • 100%
I am a village-raised girl. I would look for firewood in the evening after school, and fetch water from the river. I used to till our family garden every Saturday and every other weekday during the school holidays. I grew up hard and was taught that I had to be tough to survive life.
I am the firstborn of six siblings. I somehow managed to complete secondary school after countless struggles because of my family’s lack of finances. My parents are peasant farmers and raising six of us, I notice, is a tall order for them.
I could have dropped out of high school. I decided to keep on going back to school even after I’d been sent away for having long-standing school fee arrears. I kept on going till the headteacher got angry at my stubbornness and left me to stay.
I ultimately sat the National exams but I did not score high enough grades to win a scholarship to college. I had to come to terms with my end of studying life. I was told by my peers that I would be better off getting married. I had just turned 18 years old the year that I sat the secondary school exams, in 2021. I was scared.
Luckily, my cousin who lives in the city invited me over. I wept for joy at the chance to leave the village. He was frank enough to tell me that he could not afford to put me through college. But being in the city would open up my mind to countless opportunities in life. I embraced his ideas. He introduced me to the internet. I fell in love with YouTube. I realized I could watch so many tutorials for free. I could learn for free. The videos I watched rekindled my childhood love of braiding hair. I decided that the internet was the college that I will attend for free.
With the help of my cousin, we decided that I could start a food-selling business. Since food is a fast-moving commodity in the urban area, it so far appears as a low-cost business to set up. I will cook at home and supply around. So many overhead costs will be eliminated by this tactic. The idea is to sell food, earn money and save. I want to save up so I can purchase a computer. The computer will enable me to enrol for free courses on Coursera.com. I will eventually earn certificates and improve my skills, earning power, and come through for my younger siblings.
The uniqueness of my society is that it embraces new things. Studying online is not popular yet but I want to embrace it. It is common for girls to get into marriage immediately after school. A girl not in college is thought of as a timewaster.
When I finally have children, I hope to help them avoid the agonies I have gone through. I hope to help them get great opportunities that will help them change their society.
I enjoy braiding as a hobby. I also like watching soap operas.
My business will be about food production. I want to bake bread and prepare meals for office workers, market people and workers at construction sites. I will start with baking bread then expand to regular meals if the business model allows it.
Bread is a must-have as a staple breakfast food for most local families. It is cheap and ready to eat.
I chose bread making as a business because bread has a high demand in urban areas. It is also easy to make, yet only very few local families get to make it at home. Consequently, the start-up cost is low, as well as the operational costs. It was cheap for me to learn to make it as I only the only extra cost was the purchase of data bundles and I taught myself via YouTube.
A bale of bread flour for $50, bread baking pans for $150, oil, and yeast and sugar for $100 are part of the start-up costs I need. Since I can not afford an oven yet, I will use open heat in something called a ‘jiko’ (stove) and charcoal briquettes. I will earn $0.10 on every piece of bread I sell, and I can sell 30 loaves a day at the start. If I do this consistently, I will earn close to $100 a month, for a start. There is potential to earn over $500 a month when I scale up.
I will save up the income I earn so I can purchase a computer. I will also afford to pay for online certifications and study online. I will also reinvest in the business to scale up and eventually hire an assistant to help me run the business. That way, I will offer employment and touch some other family’s life. As my life improves, so will that of my siblings and family.
With these funds, I expect to buy flour in bulk. That way, I will be able to acquire it in lower cost. The production cost, thus, will reduce, allowing me to earn more at the end. It is possible that my daily profit could go up 20% - 30%.
Pay It Forward
Jan 25, 2023
Cost to entrepreneur
Service fee: $1.35
Pay It Forward contribution: $4.04