Empowered by WVL Nigeria Project: Esther Akpan’s Journey from Sales Girl to Entrepreneur

In 2021 TrueBeauty foundation in Calabar, cross river state under the women voice leadership project sponsored by ActionAid carried out a skill acquisition training on different income generating skills for 50 women and girls and Miss Esther Akpan was part of it.

She is a young lady that stays in Uwanse community, Atamunu who has dream of a brighter future where she owns her own brand, train and have people to work for her. But due to her low family background and imbalanced financial provision from parents she couldn’t achieve that rather was forced to do menial jobs as sales girl where she wasn’t satisfied with the pay as it wasn’t really enough to cater for her as at the time. During the sensitization of skill acquisition in Uwanse community, she indicated interest and decided to learn fascinator making and after the training was granted with start-up material, so she started doing the business and advertised in her church, but she stopped because the income was periodical. At the commencement of the skill expansion training, she opted to add cosmetology to her list of skills and she was able to achieve this and was granted with start-up materials.

She was not only empowered with skill but also with mentoring, financial literacy and Currently Miss Esther sales branded cosmetology products such as perfumes, toilet wash, bleach, shampoo, etc. Her brand name is E-desire. She also owns a shop at Goldie by mount Zion where she sales her product as well as buy other products to add to what she’s making and she is also training other girls on cosmetology as well as mentoring them on how to overcome the challenges of starting up a business. In a bit to also broaden her knowledge on cosmetology she’s also undergoing a cosmetology training on skincare.

“E-desire in her words, stated that “The WVL project changed my life in the following ways; it has given me a skill at first instance, an avenue to establish my business and be self-employed. It has also made me an independent young lady. Keeping record of my cashbook has been able to help me to consider and see how my business is growing on daily basis, monthly basis and also yearly now I have a shop in Goldie by mount Zion”.