Panda is a word which means planting a seed of financial independence to young women and girls.
Panda program is a deliberate effort organized and implemented by the Her Initiative organization to help young women generate income by providing them with knowledge, skills and resources to start and run their own businesses.
Panda on the Ground is a hybrid of training, mentorship and creating linkages between young women and stakeholders who can provide funds, capital or loans
Panda 2021 has come with the theme “ONLINE BUSINESS; GIRLS ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING AND BUSINESS GROWTH ONLINE”
The program is aimed at helping adolescent girls and young women aged 18-35 to access skills, resources and training programs in areas such as financial literacy, gender equality, SRHR and self-awareness. The entrepreneurship skills training is categorized as follows; agriculture, baking, decoration, soap making, and nails decoration.
Panda 2021 addresses financial instability among adolescent girls and young women and is solving the unemployment problems in Tanzania. Data shows that 70% of the Tanzanian population are under 35 years of age, and according to the data from ILO in 2020, the estimated youth unemployment rate in Tanzania was at 3.6 percent. These numbers show that there is a need to help young people enter into, and remain in, entrepreneurship.
“The community where I’m from there are no bakeries, so Incase a person is in need of cake or any sweet treats they will have to go to a far place to buy it. This is a problem and an opportunity. I want to leverage this opportunity by learning how to bake and how to market my business through the Panda Program.”
– Mwanaisha Panda Beneficiary
We had the first audition on June 7 2021 where 32 young women attended and on June 10, 2021 we carried out the second audition where 39 young women attended and they were interviewed, short listed and 28 young women were selected for the program.
With the ongoing challenges caused by Covid-19 more online businesses have been launched, yet some businesses have failed to sustain themselves, due to lack of proper knowledge and skills to run a business in the digital market.
“I started my career journey as a Presenter, and overtime I grew my passion for decoration and finally decided to be a full time entrepreneur in providing decoration services. I have faced so many challenges in my business but I never gave up. And that has helped me to be where I am today. I would love to encourage all Panda Beneficiaries to not give up. Running a business is not easy but with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything”
– Rachel Choice Events
On 12th June 2021, 28 selected candidates were oriented and given an introductory class on business model canvas, sexual reproductive health, gender equality, self-awareness and digital marketing. The young women were taught the important DO’s and Don’ts in starting a business, boost their confidence, increase self-awareness, get exposure to social norms, and how to increase productivity.
Self-awareness and self-discipline goes hand in hand with running a business in order to produce good results with the utmost efficiency.
The Introductory classes and trainings have yielded positive results, as some beneficiaries have already started their own business, are enrolled in the digital marketing course from our website Panda Digital, have started creating their savings account in UTT, one beneficiary from the soap category is holding her own classes, where she’s teaching other youth on how to make soap, branding and how to market their products and services.
It starts with us, we can have just as many programs and training to empower women and help them reach their financial goals but if they won’t have the determination to get there, our work done will be equal to zero. We call upon every woman to leverage every opportunity so that they can benefit from it and help other women as well, for a better society and a better future.