Mangee was among the first cohort of 20 young Liberian women to receive a loan from our BTCA program to help her start a business. Originally interested in selling bedsheets, Mangee discovered through BTCA training and one-on-one mentorship that it was not viable. She instead chose to follow her passion of cooking and open a small catering business, requesting a modest loan to buy cooking equipment and begin marketing her business by distributing flyers to potential customers. Her new marketing skills helped her win some big initial contracts, including a deal to cater for 100 people per day on an NGO training course. “I was cooking for three weeks, and employed ten people,” says Mangee.

The training also taught Mangee about the financial side of being an entrepreneur: paying staff, calculating profits, and accumulating savings. “This year I expect to have made close to USD$5,000 in personal savings and the business turnover should be around USD$12,000”. This success and new wealth is transforming the lives of Mangee, her family, and other community members, and she still has big plans ahead. “For the next contract I want to get a car to make transport easier. I see this business extending. First, I want to open a good restaurant, and I am already in the process by securing a piece of land. After that, I would like to expand to open a chain of restaurants.”