I am Yei Neagor, and I am 24 years old. I live with my mother, two brothers, my nieces and nephews and my 3 year-old son in Paynesville, Liberia.
I started selling water and soft drinks when I started at university, which was in 2011. But today I sell drinks of all kinds. I went to the Be The Change Academy (BTCA) run by Youth Crime Watch of Liberia in partnership with Peace Child International, and they taught me how build up my business. I learnt how to keep records, provide customer service and maintain checks and balances in business. All these skills are important in business – especially customer service skills. If you do not treat your customers right, then that customer will never come back to you.
After graduation, the BTCA gave me a loan, and I grew my business more. I am always going back to BTCA, and they are always putting me on track. Since I did the programme, I have seen big difference in my business. Before, I was not getting what I am now, like more customers and an increase in business. I started adding more value to my business by offering different drinks to sell. The loan helped me a lot, as the goods that I bought helped me increase my business, income and profits. Every month, I can now pay myself a monthly salary.
I want to thank the Be The Change Academy (BTCA) because they have impacted my life. I never thought that I would reach this far, or that I could do something on my own. Through the training and the loan, I was able to get so far.
I also feel good about myself because I have something on my own, I can now buy anything I want for myself and help my parents. I can pay my own school fees this semester. I am independent, and it makes me feel great as a person because I can do anything for myself.
By starting a business, I gained respect from the community because at least I did something thing on my own, and I am able to manage by myself. It important for young people to start businesses because then you have your own money. You don’t need to ask someone for help to buy things. I can now buy anything I want for myself and help my parents. I can pay my own school fees this semester. I am independent, and it makes me feel great as a person because I can do anything for myself.
I would encourage young women to start businesses, as it was through encouragement that I was able to do something for myself here. Young women should start doing something for themselves, because if you start your own business, no one can take that from you.
The BTCA changed me a lot. There were many things I didn’t know about business that I know now. I feel like I am a different person today. I never thought that I would get this far, or that I could do something on my own. Through the training and the loan, I was able to move forward.
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