Esther Edward is one of PANDA beneficiaries. She is a 25 years old, holding a Bachelor Degree of Science in Computer Science from University of Dar es salaam. She lives in Gongo la mboto Dar es Salaam.

Beforehand, Ester didn’t own any business and thus her income was not stable as a result she used to depend solely to her parents. But following PANDA intervention the situation has changed for better as she has changed positively and found self-employment. This is after she gained positive attitude towards her own economic empowerment.

It started like this; whilst looking for opportunities for self-empowerment one day, Esther saw Her Initiative’s posters through Instagram about PANDA programme. She read it and her interests was immediately ignited since she was eyeing to become a beautician. She applied and was successfully selected to join PANDA economic empowerment programme..

And so from among the categories offered by Her Initiatives’ PANDA Programme she chose to join nail category.  Under this she was trained on the best ways to offer services professionally to her clients and techniques to improve the quality of her works.

Now she has her confidence enhanced after gaining key reusable skills which have been of help since graduating from PANDA training programme. Also, she has become confident in skills such as branding, saving, record keeping, marketing, budgeting for nail salon. She has also become creative in servicing and attracting new customers for her market share expansion.

Since graduating from the programme Esther’s life has changed for better especially after she started applying the skills gained. Commenting about the young women entrepreneurs with small startup capital she says; “the most significant change which I have gained due to PANDA programme in my life is a positive mindset you need to have to start small. Someone can have 10,000 TZS only in his/ her pocket and decide to start a small business which can double the capital. This is how I started and growing my business to whom I am today”

Furthermore, she had a word to other young women entrepreneurs that, “90% of young women believe that they can’t start business because they don’t have enough capital which is not necessarily true  because you can start with 500 TZS and still get the benefits from it” Esther adds.

Transforming the lives of Programme participants like Ester was at the core of interventions in this empowerment initiative. PANDA programme from the onset was designed to support young women realize their aspirations. This was through exposing them to newfound business skills such as digital marketing thus open up opportunities for young women entrepreneurs.

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