Owning the first salon in town: Begay Njie makes it in The Gambia
Meet 29-year-old Begay Njie of The Gambia.
She’s the owner of Jagleh Cosmetics and Salon in the town of Kaur in the Central River Region North.
What makes her business unique?
Hers is the only salon in town.
‘Some people will even call me, which lets me go outside of Kaur,’ she said.
She used to carry bags of products – such as make-up, nails and eyelashes – to sell at weekly markets, called ‘lumas’. All that changed after applying for and receiving a mini grant through the International Trade Centre’s Youth Empowerment Project, funded by the European Union.
With the mini grant of 47,000 dalasi (approximately $950), she opened a cosmetics shop and expanded it into a salon, offering both beauty products and services to clients.
After the Tabaski (Eid al-Adha), she had 80,000 dalasi.
‘Through the mini grant, I was also able to employ one youth,’ Njie said. ‘She is doing the hairdressing, the fixing of eyelashes and nails. I’m paying her at the end of every month. I’m also paying myself. And yes, still the business is going fine.’
In the next five years, she hopes to separate the cosmetics and salon businesses, as they are both growing. She also plans to hire additional staff to keep pace with demand.
Watch the video to hear from Njie how young people can 'Tekki Fii' – or ‘Make It Here’ in Wolof – in The Gambia.
For more information about the Youth Empowerment Project, visit the website.
Watch other success stories from The Gambia.