In our final installment of the Building Business Forward series, meet Jummai — a beverage vendor from Katsina State, Nigeria. Through the business skills she learned in her Stronger Women Stronger Nations program, Jummai developed a successful business in her community selling soft drinks. Her immense success has inspired women around her community to also work in business, and she has become a role model for everyone around her.
My name is Jummai and I am 30 years old, married and blessed with a 4-year-old daughter in Nursery school and a 10-month-old son. I am a native of the Malaufashi Local Government Area within Katsina State, but live with my husband in Ungwan Kadara, Sabo Tasha in the Kaduna State. My husband works as a laborer for a construction company and earns a very small income for his work. We struggled to make ends meet for my family, especially in terms of adequate food, paying for health care services, keep up with our rent, and other essentials.
I feel very fortunate that I was able to join the Women for Women International Stronger Women Stronger Nations program, which has enabled me to improve my living situation significantly. Before beginning my program, I used the petty trading of soft drinks for supplemental income, but I had with no direction. Using my WfWI training stipend that I save from November 2020 when I joined the programme to January 2021, I have now started a small business for beverage production in my home. Now, people from my area come to my house to buy their drinks. My business continues to grow which is so important because many families and people are facing hardship and food prices are increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I now support my family alongside my parents.
"My situation would have been so different if I had not acquired the skills and knowledge I have now from my WfWI program."
I make good sales, and I continue gain more shop patrons because I supply to shops around my community. I feel very empowered because I am able to support other women around me, including my Women for Women International group sisters. My situation would have been so different if I had not acquired the skills and knowledge I have now from my WfWI program.
Prior to joining Women for Women International's program, I made attempts on setting up a business on two separate occasions, but failed both times because I mixed friendship in business. Friends, families, and other customers would buy items on credit, and about 90 percent of them would not pay back later.
I got so discouraged eventually that I resolved to not venture into business again. However, I have now learned from my past mistakes, and I no longer mix friendship in business. I have a complete business record book, and no longer give credit. I am evening planning to rent a shop for my business in the nearest future. I work hard every day to achieve my goals of growing my business, supporting my two children through in school, helping other women, and lastly buying a plot of land to build a house of my own. The last plan is my dream, and I am so confident that I will achieve it someday.
"I feel so overwhelmingly excited about the things I have learned from Women for Women, and I share my newfound skills with women around me. I encourage other women engage in income generating activities and to care about their health."
I am now wise, skilled, and confident of myself especially with my business knowledge, and knowledge about my rights. My family respects me more now; they seek and listens to my advice because they are very proud of me. I feel so overwhelmingly excited about the things I have learned from Women for Women, and I share my newfound skills with women around me. I encourage other women engage in income generating activities and to care about their health. Both women and their husbands around my area wish to join Women for Women International's program so after seeing the significant changes I have made in my life. I am now a member of the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) group in my Women for Women International program. I encourage my group sisters to work together by engaging in a savings circle to support one another. My WfWI sponsor is a great source of inspiration and hope to my life, thank you.