Sandra was born in the Sesheke district, Zambia, and is the eldest of five children. Her father died while she was still in primary school, placing a financial strain upon her family. She was a recipient of a CAMFED bursary to fund her education through secondary school. After graduation she joined CAMA and became a participant in the “Shaping My Future” youth enterprise program.
Sandra was one of the first participants of the program, which started in 2013. Training in business skills and leadership provided her not only with the entrepreneurial knowledge she needed to open her own hair salon, but also with the confidence to succeed. She uses these skills to manage the day-to-day financial side of the business and also to create a strategy in order to remain competitive against other salons near her own. “The training taught me to identify the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, make good financial decisions...I use all of this knowledge to run my business successfully.”
Sandra is the only person in her family to have started a business, and her profits enable her to meet her family’s needs. She was even able to use some of her income to build a house for her family. Her business has been successful enough for her to hire an employee to help with the day-to day operations.
“My family are proud of me because I am a young lady in charge of her own business and I am a role model in my community.”
Sandra in her hair salon, a business which has provided her with financial security and that she hopes to expand.
Sandra is considered a role model in her community and she wants to pass on her knowledge and help to empower other girls. Like many of the Shaping My Future participants, Sandra makes sure to give back to her community through volunteer work. She sees this volunteer work as an opportunity to boost other girls’ confidence by showing them that a young woman from a similar background was able to start a successful business. Sandra provides vocational training to young girls with the knowledge that these skills are a strategic place to start, so that one day they may have their own business and become financially secure.
“I have a plan to empower other young women by training them in vocational skills...I know these skills can go a long way in the life of a village girl who is trying to establish herself.”
The opportunities presented to Sandra through this programme have enabled her to be financially independent and have placed her closer to achieving other goals. Sanda wants to pursue tertiary education and knows that in order to finance it, she needs to expand her business in order to increase her profits. She hopes to build a permanent structure for her salon in the near future in order to take her business to the next level.