Olivia Builds Her Business and Her Self-Esteem

When her father passed away and her family could no longer afford her school fees, Olivia had to drop out of secondary school in Western Uganda. At 25 years old, Olivia viewed herself as a girl from a modest background, dependent on her mother to support her basic needs.

Then, Olivia joined SisterConnect, an Educate! bootcamp aimed to provide an alternative pathway to employment for youth who are unable to access post-primary education.

According to Olivia, “this opportunity was a turning point in my life.” At the time, she didn’t feel unique or more deserving than any other young woman, and she initially doubted her ability to learn an entirely new skillset through remote training. But over the next few weeks, Olivia would build more than just her business. 

Olivia still remembers the first time she successfully made liquid soap and the sense of accomplishment she felt as a result. Throughout the SisterConnect bootcamp, Olivia refined her production process and developed the skills needed to earn a profit, such as how to mobilize resources, conduct market research, manage money, and strengthen her interactions with customers and suppliers. Alongside this progress, Mentor-led sessions focused on self-drive and personal belief fostered Olivia’s newfound independence. As her skills grew, so did her confidence.  

Today, Olivia is supplying liquid soap to members of her community and local businesses, including hospitals, schools, restaurants, and car washing bays. From her first to her second production phase, she increased her profit by 43%. She is also training two girls in her village on the soap-making process. Olivia no longer relies on her mother and is even supporting her family financially — an outcome she takes great pride in.

Looking toward the future, Olivia is determined to continue bettering her standard of living. She is eager to grow her business and hopes to gain further knowledge that she can leverage to inspire more girls in her community.

As a rising entrepreneur, Olivia is an excellent example of how skills-based learning experiences not only improve livelihoods, but also help youth recognize the power of their potential.

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