Ridgefield High School
International Business Alliance Program
Our dream is a world in which all people are given the opportunity to elevate themselves and their communities towards a brighter future. We believe that by donating time, effort, and resources to aspiring entrepreneurs in developing nations, this dream will become a reality. Salons are at the very heart of cultural expression as they showcase the beauty of a nation. Starting with the improvement of Maria Yakubu’s salon business in Birshi Village, Nigeria, we believe that her community, country, and continent will feel the positive impact her own gains will reap. Quite simply, the entire world can be rocked by the ripple effect of progress. We aim to help Ms. Yakubu’s salon become the cornerstone of this change.
Our Global Young Innovators Initiative Business Partner
Maslaha Beauty Salon
Maslaha Beauty Salon Statistics
- Business Type:Beauty Salon
- Business Owner:Maria Yakubu
- Location:Birshi Village, Bauchi State Nigeria
- Business Production Capacity:10 customers per day
- Number of People Employed:5
- People Directly Benefiting from the Business: 18
- Employees’ Children who are attending school:8
Story of the Business:
a Maria grew up working on hair. As one of eight children, she had both younger and older sisters to practice on growing up. She was so passionate about wanting to own her own salon someday that she started learning the trade at the age of 12 and was one of her sister’s first apprentices/employees when she opened up her own shop. Gaining an education was incredibly important to the Suleiman family, and after the passing of Maria’s father, she was determined to work even harder to graduate from secondary school in his honor. This experience drastically changed Maria’s life and after she got married in 2003, Maria’s goal was to get a job and contribute to her own growing family so they would never be dependent on just one provider. Maria continued to learn about different hair cutting styles and treatments while saving money to start her own business, and eventually was able to open a salon in 2011. Unfortunately, lack of understanding of business management made it difficult to successfully run the salon and make adequate profit. Maria then applied as a community leader to join the Leadership Initiatives Business Creation Program. There she learned about business management, continued her education on hair care with a trainer contracted by LI, and with the help of the program found local investors to put additional funding towards her salon. Maria was already a leader in her community promoting women’s rights and education, and after opening her salon in 2011 has become a beacon to women within her community representing how they can also provide for their family and control the direction of their lives.
Maria has become an example of empowerment for women within her community. With her booming business she has employed 5 young women and in many cases made them the primary providers for their families. Employees use this new income to take care of their children, siblings and parents. Collectively, these women send 8 children to school with their salaries. Maria also trains apprentices on hair care and works with others to attend school and obtain a postsecondary education. Maria has become a sounding board and mentor to many women within her community who wish to provide for their family and open their own businesses, becoming an icon of empowerment.