European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) - Support Programme for Refugee settlements in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU) Livelihood and Labor Market Relevant Skills Development for Refugees & Host Communities

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Annet's journey: from lockdown struggles to entrepreneurial success

  • Annet Maturu's Journey: From Struggle to Success

Annet Maturu's story is one of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of skilling and opportunity. Born and raised in Babaa, Maracha district, Annet's journey began with a simple radio announcement about a training program. Annet seized the opportunity to apply for it and she gained admission into the program.

She embarked on a course in salon and hairdressing at Flamingo Vocational Training Center in Arua because she recognized the potential for profitability in the beauty industry. Armed with newfound skills and knowledge, Annet returned to Maracha and opened a salon, named "Annecho's Beauty Salon," at just 22 years old.

Annet's success didn't come without hurdles. Initially lacking the capital to start her business, and amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdown, she began by making groundnut paste to generate income.
 
Her fortunes changed when she received a call from Enabel, inviting her to a workshop where she received a substantial allowance. With this support, Annet invested in hair extensions, rent, and essential salon equipment.

Today, Annecho's Beauty Salon is thriving. It offers a range of services from plaiting cornrows to weaves to braiding and relaxing hair. Annet's expertise has not only attracted loyal customers but also aspiring youths eager to learn from her. With three youths enrolled in her training program, Annet has expanded her role from entrepreneur to mentor, passing on her knowledge and skills to the next generation.

Beyond hairdressing, Annet has diversified her business, venturing into selling shoes sourced from Arua. “Sometimes, I can take home close to UGX 150,000 (40$) from both the salon and shoe selling business”, says Annet.    

From humble beginnings, Annet has achieved financial independence, moving out of her parents' home and supporting herself, including covering her sister's school fees. Her ambition knows no bounds as she sets her sights on relocating her business to Arua, a larger city with even greater prospects for growth. She also used some of the profit from her business to lease a quarter hectare of land on which she is growing cassava, which she hopes to sell.  

Her journey serves as an inspiration to others, proving that with determination, hard work, and access to opportunities, anything is possible. Annet's message to her friends and peers is clear: "seize every opportunity for education and training, for it is the key to unlocking a brighter future".

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