Empowering Women in Kenya: “You can be great at what you love”
“It doesn’t matter how little you start with, you can be great at what you love. There is no bank account limit on realising your dreams.”
Lilian, a Wezesha Business Skills Project graduate, knows this to be true, she speaks from her own personal experience.
Lilian lives in Nakuru, Kenya and she had to overcome many challenges to become the successful business woman that she is today. When she started working, she was doing simple tailoring and repairs at a rent-free area in her local shopping centre. She worked hard to gain customers, and earn a living through small jobs, with the little equipment that she could afford.. Business started slowly, but she was persistent, and even from the beginning customers understood Lilian’s skill and passion.
Today she is the proud owner of a fashion design shop in Nakuru. The support she received through the Wezesha Business Skills Project in 2018-19 provided her the capital and business skills to harness her talent and passion, and establish a profitable small business.
Lilian recounts that ‘the first cheque I ever saw and touched was the one that I received from So They Can. It was for KES 60,000 (approximately AUD $730). With that loan I bought two sewing machines. More than business growth and success, there is so much satisfaction in knowing that I am now able to feed my family of six and educate my children.’
With the new sewing machines, Lilian’s business quickly expanded. It allowed her to finish orders in a shorter time-frame and increase her customer-base. She was also able to provide employment to three local women, and mentor them in both tailoring and business skills.
She enjoys that her work varies from designing wedding dresses, to formal attire, to casual wear. Her designs are innovative and stylish, making her a well known name in Nakuru. Lilian proudly showcases her designs on her Facebook page, Jaynewang Mundia, and is regularly invited to talk about fashion on local radio and tv programs.
Her ambition to become one of the most sought after designers in Kenya, and she is well on her way!
So They Can’s Wezesha Business Skills Project builds financial and social capacity for women through business skills training and the provision of loans. A big thank you to The Morris Family Foundation for their ongoing support of this empowering project.