From Self-taught Hairdresser to Businesswoman.

(Patience Chigariro posing for a picture in one of her salon. Right: Plaiting one of her client ‘s hair)

“I became the pillar of strength for my family after my husband got retrenched from work. Things were so hard for us but I was determined to start from somewhere .l taught myself hairdressing in order to survive but that became my breaking point to becoming a businesswoman ,said Patience Chigariro”.

Patience Chigariro (39), is  from Jonga Business Centre in Shurugwi Rural District. Her husband is unemployed, and they have three children – a daughter aged 18, and two sons aged 14 and 8. Patience was initially working in various informal jobs within her community, earning approximately $50 per month and this was not adequate enough to support her family ‘s basic needs. Additionally, she struggled with low earnings to successfully expand her business in hairdressing but Hand in Hand Zimbabwe helped her, through access to financial support and trainings.

In 2017, Patience   joined a Hand in Hand Zimbabwe ‘s Self-Help Group (SHG) named Later Rain. Through this group, she received trainings in six modules on business management .This prompted her to start her own small hair salon business where she managed to increase her income to around $200 per month.

In July 2023 Patience received  a loan from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe accelerator project which  enabled her to expand her business. This financial assistance allowed her to open another salon shop in the business center, indicating growth and progress in her entrepreneurial endeavors.

                                                                (Part of Patience employees in different salon enterprises).

The loan obtained by Patience played a crucial role in transforming her business. With the additional funds, she was able to expand her salon operations by opening a new shop in a more prominent location within the business center. This expansion signifies an improvement in her financial stability and business prospects.

Through determination, hard work, and leveraging the opportunities presented by the SHG, Patience Chigariro was able to elevate her income and enhance her family’s living conditions. The journey from struggling with low earnings to successfully expanding her business highlights the positive impact of access to financial support and training on individuals striving for economic empowerment.

                                                                                                          (Empowered and Cheerful Woman)

The businesswoman’s personal growth is remarkable as she has become empowered in her role. This empowerment is reflected in various aspects of her life, including increased confidence, self-esteem, and pride in her achievements. She now carries herself with more bravery and walks with her head held high in the community. The respect she receives from both her immediate family, relatives, and the community at large highlights her elevated status. Moreover, she has set ambitious dreams and goals for the future, fostering stronger family relationships.

The positive changes in the Patience’s life have also had a ripple effect on her household dynamics. The decrease in arguments and fighting within the home further signifies a more harmonious environment. Her husband’s newfound respect for her demonstrates a shift towards equality and mutual regard within their relationship.

Looking ahead, Patience harbors ambitious aspirations for her entrepreneurial journey. She envisions opening a salon in Shurugwi town, with diversified operations .Her goal to employ 20-30 individuals across all her salons reflects her commitment to creating job opportunities.

Furthermore, her desire to mentor and train young women to become successful entrepreneurs underscores her dedication to empowering others.

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