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From dropout to successful business owner

September 13, 2018

Wilstar supports key parts of CARE Norway´s comprehensive Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Programme (GEWEP) in Rwanda, with an emphasis on providing opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship through training and financial inclusion. The project runs over a four-year period and started in 2015.

The project has benefited thousands of women in Rwanda. One of which is 23 year old Mukayiranga Assumpta. She comes from a family of 6 and dropped out from secondary school due to lack of funding and interest. In 2013, she agreed to join a 6-month practical vocation beautician and hairdressing course. After graduating she started as a temporary worker in a salon and joined a CARE-initiated Village Savings and Loan Group (VSLG)

called “UBUMWE”. Through the VSLG Mukayiranga opened her first bank account and took out her first loan of 80,000RWf. She repaid the loan on time with the required interest. In 2016 , with the advice from her mentor and family she decided to set up her own Beauty Salon, financed with savings and the loan from the VSLG.

Mukayiranga Assumpta testimony describes how she benefited from CARE: learning about a saving culture, the use of loans and also the technical trainings in financial literacy, enterprise development and especially the business mentorship program. These trainings have given her customers care skills, negotiations skills and priority skills. The salon now consists of 2 permanent staff and 2 temporary staff. The average net profit after paying employees’ salaries, taxes, rent fees, saloon products, and other costs is around 60,000RWf per month. The profits are either reinvested into the salon or put into her savings.

“I am so proud to be self-employed. I support my family to pay the school fees for my young sister in secondary school and I pay my own rent. To conclude I am now economically and financially independent and this time I am able to support my family, and to meet my basic needs.”

Her future plan is to buy a generator, which can support her when there are electricity shortages in her village. She also wishes to train other young girls in hairdressing, manicures & pedicures, in order to support them in becoming economically stable, and supporting themselves in their lives. In the future, she wishes “to have a modern salon in a smart house, with many more workers.” In 2018 Mukayiranga is still doing well.


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Wilstar is the nonprofit social impact arm of the Arne and Lise Wilhelmsen family office and a space in which the Wilhelmsen family feel they can most effectively contribute to our society.

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