From Renting to Thriving: Funmilayo’s Journey of Hope and Empowerment.
FLEP initially encountered Asaolu Funmilayo also known as Fashionista in August 2021 as part of our
Triple P (Profit, People & Planet) Entrepreneurship project, and her dedication and active participation
quickly stood out. Although she had received training as a tailor, she lacked access to her own sewing machine, forcing her to rent equipment from other tailors in order to produce clothes for sale. Additionally, she was pursuing her final year of study in Biochemistry at Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba Akoko, Ondo State.
Upon completion of the TPE training, FLEP, with the support of Children’s Mission Sweden, made a pivotal investment in Funmilayo’s progress by procuring an Industrial sewing machine for her as a business starter kit. This proved to be the most valuable asset she acquired throughout the project, and she also made the highest contribution in terms of equity.
In May 2023, Funmilayo joyfully shared with us her significant achievement from the past year. She successfully secured a contract to produce lab coats for students in her department, resulting in a substantial income of one million Naira (N1,000,000/$ 2,000) for her business. This lucrative deal marked a major milestone in her entrepreneurial journey.
She employs seven individuals at her shop and has expanded her equipment inventory to include one industrial sewing machine and a table machine. Reflecting on Fashionista’s progress from 2021 to 2023, we are elated at her growth. She has transitioned from contemplating leaving Akungba town due to limited opportunities to establishing her own thriving business within the community. No longer relying on rented sewing machines, she now owns four machines.
Fashionista’s story instils great confidence in the impactful work that FLEP is undertaking with numerous young people across various rural communities in Nigeria. In the face of soaring unemployment rates and limited government resources for job creation, empowered youths possess the capacity to generate employment for themselves and others. They have the potential to transform adversity into opportunity.