I am Mangee Williams. I am married with three girls and one boy, and I run a catering business. I prepare food for NGOs, the government, parties and weddings.
When I started my business, I was just spending and spending because I was not using the proper accounting procedures. When I moved to where I live now, I couldn’t get many contracts for the business, so I used to just sit on the road and sell sheets.
Nothing changed until I got the information about the BTCA. I was on the road with my neighbours and saw a flyer that said the BTCA was coming into the community to help youths that need help in their businesses. I decided to become a part of the programme when it started.
“The BTCA helps people in their businesses, health and their way of coming up in life. After graduating from the BTCA, the BTCA will not just leave you alone. It will be there to guide you in the process. Any time you hit a problem, you call up the BTCA, and they will help you through your problem.”
“To be empowered means to be accepted in your community, to say “I can do this”. I think that is what the BTCA has done to me. They empowered me, and now, I have imparted that into other lives. I am still imparting it, and when I open my restaurant, there will be a lot of young women working there, and by the grace of God, it will help them improve their lives.”
There were people that were very discouraging and told me I would not carry this business very far. They said that these big people you want to cater for will not consider you. They will just throw away your flyer, and you will not even get an answer from them.
But despite this discouragement, I said this was my goal and that by the grace of God, one of these days, I will be happy. Now, some of the people that used to discourage me I now employ. They were so happy and proud and said if you had listened to us, you would have missed the contract, so you must be focused on what you are doing. It makes me feel so good today.
Hawa was my mentor. She helped me go through my records and gave me some guidelines to follow when recording my business spending. It helped me when Ebola started because the contracts slowed down, so I started to sell bread to keep making money. Hawa helped me with the accounting that allowed me to track the money I spent and made.
With your support we can empower more young women like Mangee