Friday, December 13, 2013

The Business I started with $5 …

My name is Hadera Ahmed and I came to Addis Ababa with my uncle when I was just four years old. Living with my uncle, I was never given the chance to go to school. Instead, I was busy helping his family with household chores.  When I got older, I left my uncle’s home and started working as a maid in a different household for $1 (10 birr) per month. I stayed at the same house for three years and when I got tired of being a maid, I started my own business of selling second hand clothes with a capital of $5 (50 birr).  A friend introduced me to my present husband while I was on this job and we got married and stated running our life with the money he earned and the money I got from the business.

Another friend advised me to expand my business; and I told her that I would only if I had the capital for it and that it would really help me if we form an “ekub” (a traditional rotation saving & credit scheme).  This was when she advised me to join Women in Self Employment (WISE) which didn’t take me much time to decide on.  I went to the office and talked to a staff.  After knowing the organization’s mission, I got registered as a member in 2007 and started saving.

Taking the basic business skills training offered at the organization, I learned a lot on how to manage time and money properly, how to save, plan business and implement the plan. The training opened up new ways for me leading to my success. 

I took the first round loan of $47 (700 birr) and started to sell different vegetables.  I paid back the loan in six months time and continued taking different levels of loans, increasing my savings and attaining more income.

 Recently, I took a loan of Birr $1,706 (30,700 .00 birr) and pay back $38 (680 birr) to my cooperative each week. My saving has now reached $722 (13,000 birr).  I was also able to purchase household furniture and equipments after I joined WISE and continue to support my family with the money I get from the business.

 I have seen a big change in my life. My husband and I continue to work hand-in-hand as I continue to do well in the business. Currently, I sell soft drinks, spring water, fruits etc in my shop.

Women in Self Employment (WISE) is one of the four partner institutes of the African Centers of Excellence (ACE) for Women's Leadership program run by the Institute of International Education (IIE) , Ethiopia Office.

For more on IIE , ACE or WISE please follow the links below.