Young and business savvy

by Because I am a Girl

With the help of a Plan, 18-year-old Tasila has been able to start her own business to help provide for herself and her family in Zambia.

When Tasila was four, she lost both her parents and went to live with her aunt in the town of Chibombo. However, after her aunt's divorce, it became difficult to provide for herself and her niece.

It was here that Tasila was first introduced to Plan's youth enterprise program. As a young girl, she would accompany her aunt to savings and loans meetings in the town and it wasn't long before Tasila developed an interest in running a business of her own.

So, when Plan helped the Chibombo community to launch a young people's savings and loans program, Tasila was among the first to join.
There she learned basic finance and business skills and got the inspiration she needed to open her own company.

Tasila proved to be a hard-working student and soon after she obtained her Business Skills certificate, she made her first loan. She invested the money in buying the ingredients she needed to make a sweet drink popular in Zambia.

With the profits, Tasila was able to repay what she had borrowed and invest the rest to expand the range of products she had to offer. She now sells cooking oil, salt fish, soap and other items.

"I have also started saving small amounts so that next year I can go back to school. As an orphan the only way I can survive is to get educated," says Tasila.

Rural Zambia is full of entrepreneurial-minded young people like Tasila, determined to improve their families' situation.

Plan is training 55 enthusiastic young people in Zambia, to become peer business mentors. The mentors will work with 307 other young people in their communities, to train, support and encourage them to start and sustain their own businesses.