After getting training in financial literacy and entrepreneurship through a YETA supported youth group, Juliet Abitegeka, a single mother from Masindia, Uganda, learned how to save, budget and manage her projects. By integrating these skills into her daily business, she was able to quickly diversify her income and, ultimately, support her family on her own.
Juliet is the 23-year-old chairperson of Katwemukye Bukooba Youth Group. Founded in November 2015 with 35 members—21 men and 14 women—the group elected Juliet as chairperson. Working together, the group received training in agriculture, business and financial management through the Youth Empowered Though Agriculture (YETA) Project, led by NCBA CLUSA in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation.
Collectively, the Katwemukye Bukooba Youth Group decided to start a piglet incubator business. While many invested in the start-up, Juliet also used her new skills to branch out on her own until the larger group could turn a profit. She started by buying local chicks from her village that she fattened and later sold. She soon found a market for her chicken in the neighboring weekly market where she also sold her fast-growing green vegetables, locally known as nakati.
Despite the fact that the group has yet to make profit from their pig incubator business, Juliet joined a Village Savings and Loan (VSLA) group in the neighborhood, where she saved over 300,000 Ugandan shillings, or just over $80 USD in 2016. These savings were a platform to accessing credit and expanding her businesses.
After building a house, she was able to access a 170,000 shilling ($50) loan to finish the roof. She built the home on land from her father, where she plans to plant two acres of maize this season and raise more money. She also plans to construct proper shelter for her chickens as one way of consolidating her chicken business.
According to Juliet, trainings offered by YETA opened her eyes to the world of opportunities and she will no longer accept failure as an option. She is planning to pay back the loan in the next few months.
Juliet now lives in her own home with her only child. They moved in February this year, solving the major challenge of their own shelter. She will continue to expand her businesses and looks forward to the investment of knowledge and training from the youth association.
With the confidence to strike out on her own and the support of other youth group members, Juliet is creating a stable foundation for herself and her son. Through projects like YETA, providing entrepreneurial women the opportunity to use their leadership skills is a springboard to success and resilience.