Meet Louise Mukakalisa
Louise Mukakalisa is passionate about baking and owns a small business making donuts and Hibiscus juice from flowers she grows in her garden. She was inspired by Harambee’s problem solving module of the English Acceleration programme supported by Prince’s Trust International. She heard about Harambee from a friend who encouraged her to apply for the programme. Louise testifies that it has been a meaningful experience, and a chance to grow her talent and passion. Louise graduated from the Harambee PTI English Acceleration Programme in November 2020.
“I’ve loved cooking since I was little and always enjoyed watching people do it. During last year’s lockdown, I had plenty of time to practice and challenged myself to try baking donuts using some YouTube tutorials. I used to visit my cousin’s restaurant to learn how to cook various dishes as well as get some baking tips. These opportunities and Harambee’s programme helped me to grow my baking skills and gave me the confidence to start my own business.”
Louise started her business with Rwf 3,000, which she used to buy ingredients for making donuts. Since then, she has added hibiscus juice to her product offering.
“Harambee really helped the success of my business. I took a course called “Problem Solving for Earning” and learned how I can solve problems using my abilities and talents. That’s why I decided to start my baking business as a way to earn an income. I also learned about professionalism and customer care from the programme, which improved my work ethic and quality of the services I provide to clients. The Harambee Bridge Programme motivated me to use the resources I have, such as time and energy, to advance my creativity,” Louise said.
Louise plans to expand her business, cater for a growing customer base and provide a range of bakery products. She also looks forward to increasing her staff as a way of providing employment opportunities to other young people.
Speaking to young work-seekers, Louise says: “It’s good to begin with what you have at the moment, because you don’t need lots of money to start up something. Draw on your confidence and determination in what you do, because one customer can bring you another. I also recommend young people to apply for Harambee’s programmes as they provide the skills and tools you need to find work or create something for your own.”
Louise is a testament that you can start small and keep growing!