Sierra Leone: With just $1.16 Jeneba started a business that saved her from becoming a dropout

Jeneba Ruth Sivalie is a third-year student at the Fourah Bay College. She sells bead to pay for her school fees.

Jeneba started her “Bead Up” business in 2012 after taking her first WASSCE examination. She didn’t get the required grades to get into college. Everyone in her family was angry with her because she had failed. Determined to retake her WASSCE exams Jeneba decided she would raise the funds to pay for private lessons. She had just 10,000 leones ($1.15) to her name but she went to the market and bought whatever it could buy to design beads. Jeneba made 10 items with her and each sold for 10,000. She reinvested all the profits into more beading materials and today one of her designs can fetch as much as 25,000 leones piece

From that initial investment of $1.15, Jeneba now earns $46 a week from bead making. She was able to earn enough to pay for private lessons to retake her WASSCE. She passed and gained admittance into FBC. Over the past 3 years, she has single-handedly provided for herself and covered her fees.

Originally from Southern Sierra Leone. Jeneba was brought to Freetown by a relative to help further her education as a girl when her family fell on hard times. Once she failed her exams she lost the financial support of her guardians.

Now aged 24, a third-year student at the University of Sierra Leone, Jeneba is studying Sociology but she says her real dream is to one day attend fashion design school so that she can further her passion and skills in design.

Jeneba’s story is a testament to what a woman who believes in herself can do. Be like Jeneba, because a girl can!

To place your Bead Up Orders contact Jeneba on WhatApp (+232 77 993 239) to see what she creates!