Branice Tatu is one of our incredible fellows in Kenya who is working to improve access to hygiene in Juja through employing survivors of gender-based-violence to make and sell multipurpose soap. Since becoming a RISE Fellow, Branice has employed 12 women who have sold over 170 litres of soap to low-income families. Her social enterprise supports locals to prevent illness through hand washing. Continue reading below to learn more about Branice and her accomplishments so far.
“How has the RISE fellowship impacted your business?”
Before I became a RISE fellow, I used to produce and sell soap on a low scale and I only had a few employees. However, since joining the fellowship, RISE has greatly impacted my social enterprise by providing us with seed funding, mentorship and business resources. RISE has supported me to scale my business and serve the community of Juja by enabling us to provide employment for survivors of gender based violence. RISE has also connected me to mentors who have provided guidance in a variety of areas which have supported my entrepreneurial journey.
I have received mentorship in public speaking, social media marketing, creating a unique selling point and I am participating in Sophia Sunwoo’s sales mastery courses. I have been matched with four incredible mentors who have looked at the challenges that my social enterprise is facing and have tailored their support to match our needs. I would like to say a massive thank you to Phil Pradere, Erin Doppelt, Sophia Sunwoo and Meena Mirpuri for all of their help.
“What is your biggest accomplishment so far?”
So far, we have produced and sold +170 litres of multipurpose soap to communities in Juja, Kenya. We have also trained 27 women to make soap and provided full-time employment for 12 women. Additionally, we have also distributed trash cans to low-income families to manage waste from menstruators.
“What difference has the Uwezo Women Project made to the community?”
The Uwezo Women Project has created dialogue around the importance of maintaining strong hygiene practices. We have also provided low-income families with the opportunity to purchase affordable multipurpose soap which supports them to prevent illnesses. Previously, women in Juja struggled to find employment; we have helped to bridge the gap by training the local women as well as providing jobs for 12 people. Furthermore, we are making the community safer and cleaner through our work in waste-management by ensuring that women are able to safely discard their disposable sanitary pads.
“How has the Uwezo Women Project shaped the lives of its employees?”
The Uwezo Women Project has enabled our women to financially support their families; through gaining an income, our staff can now purchase essentials such as food, educational supplies and medicine. Our training programs have provided women with new skills which have improved their employability - opening new doors for women who have previously endured tremendous hardships.
“If you could share one piece of advice with your younger self, what would it be and why?”
The quote, “no matter where you are from your dreams are valid” completely changed my life. I wanted to improve the lives of my fellow community members through empowering women and I am passionate about improving access to hygiene; however, I come from a small town with few opportunities. Despite this, I looked for avenues to support my ideas and found RISE. What started off as an application turned to a support system that enabled me to actualize my ideas.
Interested in volunteering as a professional mentor for RISE by Sundara to support female entrepreneurs like Branice? Sign up here.