Mwanaasha’s story

Mwanaasha has established a successful soap business with the skills she learned through Sense International’s vocational training work. 

A young woman smiles outside an office

Mwanaasha met Sense International Tanzania in primary school when she was six years old, and she says, “It has changed my life”. Now a young adult, Mwanaasha is an independent businesswoman. The soap and detergent business she set up with support and investment from Sense International has given her a vital source of income for herself and her family, including during the Covid-19 crisis. 

When she was younger, Mwanaasha attended a school for children with deafblindness. As she was doing well in her studies, she moved into a mainstream school and passed her primary school exams. But when she started secondary school, learning was tough because her teachers could not use sign language. Mwanaasha left school, but remained determined to establish a career for herself. Looking for opportunities to start a small business, she learned to make soap.  

Mwanaasha joined Sense International Tanzania’s vocational training programme with the aim of strengthening her soap making business. She attended a five-day seminar for young entrepreneurs, learning business management skills including budgeting, procurement, record-keeping and advertising. Sense International also provided Mwanaasha with glasses to improve her vision. 

Since the onset of Covid-19, the soap market has been in high demand in Tanzania. Mwanaasha has used the opportunity to implement her new skills and expand her business. With the support of her mother, she has been able to open a second shop. Despite the challenging circumstances, sales of her soap have risen significantly and her profit margin has increased. 

Not only has her business been a success, but, Mwanaasha explains, it has “proved to the community that we are able and we can stand alone, that we can take care of ourselves and our families and we can contribute to our communities.” She says: “I feel very happy and have peace in my mind…this project makes me feel confident and free to live my life.”