Among the beneficiaries of the PANDA economic empowerment training programme is Sophia Lemi. She is 25 years old holder of a Bachelor Degree in Education.

When she joined PANDA Programme Sophia had already started a business as a nail beautician. But her business was not without challenge the fact that she had not received any professional training beforehand to support her business grow. Challenges which compounded some of her hardships include low capital, poor branding, limited saving, poor budgeting, and lack of enough nail salon education.

Given her strong interests to positively change, Sophia started to search for places where she could learn about the ways to improve tooffer the best nail services. This is after she realized that in order to support the growth of her business skills improvement was a way forward.

As the saying goes ‘where there is a will there is a way’ in her search she luckily saw Her initiative’s posters on Instagram about PANDA programme and applied. She was selected and decided to join the training cohort on nail art design.

She found out that the programme was ideal for her learning to improve the services she was providing to her customers. Also, from the beginning, Sophia believed that business challenges could well be addressed through proper business knowledge and skills.

During the training she was exposed to skills in both practical and theoretical sense. Some of the areas she was trained were saving, branding, marketing, records keeping, how to set business targets and goals, plans and the importance of building her self confidence in order to build a successful business.

Further, PANDA program helped Sophia to spark a self-drive which is key in building a spirit to starting small and fighting to become whoever she wanted to be in the society.

She says “PANDA program supported me to learn how to self-supervise and manage my nail service provision by increasing my knowledge on running business. Following that now I have been capable to overcome some challenges that I used to face in my business”.

Moreover, Sophia pointed out that she learnt a lot during the programme and conceded to gain positive change in her business. This is attributed by the knowledge gained which has led to improved services which, in turn, has been key in getting more customers.

This positive development has contributed to improved income. “Being competent is everything in my business life because it highly contributes to bring about more customers as a result of improved quality of my services. I thank Her Initiatives for undertaking the Programme because my income has improved and my life has moved one step up” She adds.

The PANDA programmme has helped young women such as Sophia to sharpen their business knowhow which has resulted into more income. Generally, the programme has become a savior to many young women especially by inspiring them to change to financial independence. This is key in addressing young women financial poverty.

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