A young businesswoman from Kakamega County has been announced as the regional winner for Africa of The Prince’s Trust Global Award during a reception at the residence of the British Deputy High Commissioner in Nairobi. The award celebrates the outstanding achievements of young people on a Prince’s Trust International programme in Africa.
Before Rinah (25) started her own business in Butere, she and her husband sometimes struggled to put food on the table for their two young children. Rinah’s earnings from her thriving hair salon and grocery shop have transformed their family life. The Shujaaz Biz programme, delivered in partnership with Prince’s Trust International, has played a key role in enabling Rinah to grow her business.
“I’d already started the salon, but it wasn’t doing that well, business was a bit down… I wasn’t saving any money so my business wasn’t very stable,” Rinah recalls, explaining that she used to spend all the day’s takings on immediate family needs, like food and school fees.
Using knowledge gained from the programme, Rinah started to keep accounts and to save a portion of her earnings. She also took on board some invaluable tips on customer service from her fellow entrepreneurs.
“Life is very enjoyable now, I can put food on the table easily, without stress,” she says. “I can prosper. We’re a happy family now, much more than before”.
Rinah also enjoys the logistical benefits of being her own boss. Like many mothers around the world, she values the flexibility of being able to balance work and family commitments.
“Having your own business means that you can arrange your time yourself,” Rinah explains. “I start my work in the salon at 10 because by then I’ve finished my work at home… Then at five I go home again and take care of my family. When you’re working for someone else you can’t get enough time to do your work at home”.
Worldwide, women spend about three times as long as men on unpaid care and domestic work. The burden is especially heavy in some countries where daily workloads include particularly time-consuming tasks, such as washing clothes by hand. While this remains the case, it is vital to empower young women to find flexible ways to earn.
Rinah is now a businesswoman, employer and valued breadwinner. Her income has made an immediate, practical difference to her family’s quality of life and has empowered Rinah to take charge of her future.
Recently, Rinah was invited to the residence of the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Josephine Gauld, to receive her award in Nairobi.
“Around 43% of Kenya’s population is under 15 and opportunities for informal work are going to become fewer. Young people like Rinah need to become entrepreneurs – they need to take charge of their futures. The partnership with Prince’s Trust International is exciting because the organisation is giving a different sort of opportunity to young people in Kenya. Their focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, entrepreneurship skills and helping young people to achieve makes for an innovative alternative for personal and career development,” the British Deputy High Commissioner said.
In Kenya, Prince’s Trust International has tailored their programmes with local partners including the Asante Africa Foundation and Shujaaz. The organisation started working in Kenya in early 2020 and has since been scaling up work with local partners across East Africa, helping to prepare young people for the labour markets of tomorrow.
“Our programmes and partnerships offer valuable and life-changing opportunities for young people, and I am excited that we are now able to offer these to even more young people in East Africa. It is fantastic to see so many young people like Rinah excited by the possibility of setting up their own business,” Grace McCatty, Programme Lead for East Africa at Prince’s Trust International, added.
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