In a rural community in Eastern Uganda, twins Shadia and Shakira somehow find the time to run their own businesses, serve as the Secretary and Treasurer of their Student Business Club, and excel in their courses at Nakalama Secondary School.
The twin Scholars have found significant success as entrepreneurs, gaining real business skills while still in high school. Shadia grows eggplants–selling around 5 and a half baskets a week for 6,000 shillings (about $1.60) each. Her total profit of around $35 a month is well above what most youth in her community - and even many adults - can expect to earn. Shakira grows green peppers and makes liquid soap, both of which she primarily sells to teachers at the school and at the local hospital, making a typical profit of more than $40 a month. The twins started their businesses with only 5,000 shillings each (about $1.35), but now proudly use the money they earn to pay for their school uniforms, school fees, textbooks, and other school supplies. They say that their parents are grateful for the help making ends meet. In fact, the girls say that their parents love hearing about Educate!, and Shadia and Shakira have even taught them some of the skills they've learned from their lessons.
When asked how they find the motivation to juggle it all, Shadia responds: "For me as a girl, I can get skills so that I don't have to depend on any other person. As a girl, you can make your own business and earn your own money." Shakira finds the most value in her role as Treasurer for the Student Business Club because she dreams of one day going to university and becoming an accountant. Her work for the club is giving her valuable skills and experience toward realizing this dream.
There's nothing more inspiring than seeing young women working hard to create the futures they want for themselves. We're so proud of all our Scholars, and we wish them the best in the new school year!