Unstoppable Success

Isiolo Empowerment Centre, Kenya


“To start a business, you don't need to be highly educated, but you certainly need to be interested in the work that you are going to do." This is a statement by one of our students, a simple woman from Lotiki Village in Isiolo County who has studied only up to grade eight. Despite this handicap, she is now a successful entrepreneur and earns between Ksh 5000 to 9000 per month.


What motivated Magdalena into becoming a successful entrepreneur were the circumstances that she found herself in. There are nine members in her family, including her husband, five daughters and two sons. Since her husband is the sole earning member working as a casual labourer at a construction site, it had become extremely difficult to make ends meet. 


Besides this, there was no other source of income. The family lived in a small timber house with two rooms and a kitchen. Apart from this, Magdalena sometimes used to stitch people's torn and old clothes in her free time for a small sum of money.


As destiny would have it, one day, GHNI organised a programme in Lotiki Village. As part of the programme, the villagers were provided with information about entrepreneurship and skill development in the Empowerment Centre that was going to be conducted with the individual donor support. Magdalena registered for the programme and took up sewing as the skill that she wanted to develop, as it was something that interested her.


After that, quality and neatness began to show in her sewing. She then decided to approach the women who lived nearby to stitch clothes for them. She started to do tailoring work from home and the demand for sewing clothes began to rise at a steady pace in Lotiki Village.


When the demand went up, she decided to open a shop. She rented a small shop in the marketplace and, with the support of her husband, they set up the shop with the necessary infrastructure required in a tailoring shop. To be able to manage the finances required after opening the shop, Magdalena received a number of orders to stitch suits, women’s blouses and petticoats. Through her hard work and consistent efforts, Magdalena has not only been able to improve the economic condition of her house but has also become more confident in dealing with people.


When Magdalena was asked whether she was happy and satisfied with her work, she said, "During the training, I was able to interact with more and more educated people. Because of this work, I have been able to realise my own potential, and now I will not stop at just running a tailoring shop. I will expand my business, gradually, by stitching children's clothes, and keeping other items in the shop required by women and children. After that, I will start a sewing centre so that the girls in our village can also get training in sewing. If you have talent, then learning a skill is beneficial as it comes to your aid during bad times and, if you are hardworking, then no one can stop you from succeeding. I would like to thank GHNI and Mr Stephen who gave me this opportunity.”


Thank you!



GHNI National Field Leader