Martha MUKANIYONGIRA and Diane NIYONKURU had expectations as they began vocational school at Akazi Kanoze with implementing partner JOC (Jeunesse Ouvriere Catholique). They expected to find a job after they graduated and they expected to be able to make a living from that job.

Little did they know, their expectations would take them on the road to entrepreneurship – from running a hair salon to operating a pig farm!

“We began studying hair styling but soon discovered that hair kits are very expensive, so we decided to see what other businesses we could start in order to raise funds to purchase kits and supplies for our salon. We surprisingly learned that pig farming is a profitable business and the production time is very fast.” said Martha

Realizing that in order to further their hair salon business they were required to put the training they received into action. Diane and Martha ventured into the pig rearing business: buying piglets for around RWF 15,000 ($20), raising them, and selling mature animals for RWF 60,000 to RWF 90,000 ($85-$130). This income generating activity has allowed them to continue the hair salon business and save money for other potential business ideas.

The USAID funded Akazi Kanoze program changed the direction of Di

“Before the training we were jobless. We had dropped out from school at Senior 2 and Senior 3 (7th and 8th grade, respectively).” said Martha

ane and Martha’s lives.

Now these young entrepreneurs are in control of their careers and ensuring that the future ahead of them is well planned with solid financing.