South Sudanese woman sits with phone next to pile of tomatoes at market

Success in fruits and vegetables in South Sudan

31 October 2023
ITC News

Youth and women entrepreneurs in South Sudan are seeing new levels of success thanks to trainings and mentorships.

Ajuo Rose, a 28-year-old mother of three, grew up an orphan in Aru Junction, Lokiliri Payam. At just 15 years old, she was out of school and married.

To support her growing family, Rose began cutting charcoal. She had to leave this trade behind because of threats to her safety. After a year without steady income, Rose realized the potential in selling fruits and vegetables.

South Sudanese trader holds watermelon in market
South Sudan. Rose Ajuo carries a watermelon at the market where she's growing her business using skills learned with ITC.
Photo by ITC

Rose started selling fresh produce in 2022, but found that her revenues were too low to sustain her family. Unable to provide food and a good education for her children, she knew that something had to change.

Under the South Sudan Jobs Creation and Trade Development project, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Premium Agro Consult are training  entrepreneurs to improve their business management skills and entrepreneurial abilities.

This project offers trainings, mentorship and advisory services to youth and women entrepreneurs across South Sudan. These entrepreneurs have improved their marketing, recordkeeping, operation management, and personnel resourcing.

‘After completing the five-day training delivered by ITC, I acquired more knowledge and skills about managing business effectively,’ said Rose.

Rose has also received six coaching and mentorship sessions. She has now participated in four trade fairs, where she was able to connect with buyers.

‘My mindset in business totally changed and increased my gross income per month,’ Rose said while expressing her gratitude to ITC.

Rose is now able to make better budgeting decisions and generate additional income streams. What she has gained from the project is immeasurable. One of her children is now in Kampala, Uganda, receiving a better education than they could have had at home.

Rose encourages fellow women entrepreneurs  to attend ITC’s trainings so that they can grow their businesses.


About the Project

The International Trade Centre’s South Sudan Jobs Creation and Trade Development project aims to increase the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and employment opportunities for the South Sudanese population engaged in the fruit and vegetable subsector.

The European Union-funded project contributes to addressing the value addition, competitiveness, job creation and trade development challenges of South Sudan. Specifically, the interventions of the project are expected to improve productive capacities and compliance to standards for MSMEs, increase market linkages for MSMEs and enhance employability and entrepreneurship capacity for the South Sudanese labour force, focussing on youth and women.