Fashion Business Academy

A unique training and mentoring programme for five young fisher women to start an enterprise in tailoring and fashion. Wa-Wa’s approach ensures sustainability and has already supported 365 young women in successful soap-making, furniture making and fish-farming businesses.

Local solution

A unique training and mentoring programme for 5 young fisher women to start an enterprise in tailoring and fashion. The training in soft and technical skills takes three months. After the successful completion, Wa-Wa Kenya sets up businesses together with the trainees, who will receive a start-up capital and mentoring, after which they will be able to stand on their own feet.

This way Wa-Wa Kenya ensures sustainability and has supported 365 young women in successful soap-making, furniture making and fish-farming businesses. Girls and women can choose a subject that they like, the training areas are collectively identified by the groups depending on the needs and interests, and they are involved in the evaluation of the project.

It is a solution much needed, that is helping women and teen girls living below the poverty line towards opportunities to make a living in a healthy and dignified way. In the fisher folks’ communities living around Lake Victoria Poverty there are limited job opportunities. Poverty forces many women to engage in transactional sex for fish, to secure a share of the daily catch. The region has a HIV prevalence in the area is 26% (around 5 times higher than the national prevalence). This has resulted too many deaths form AIDs-related diseases, orphaned children and child headed families.

Lives improved

After the training of 3 months, 5 women will start their own business. After another 8 months of mentoring, they will be able to make a sustainable living without putting themselves at risk.

The five women are all young mothers who dropped out from school due to stigma and have the responsibility of taking care of their child or children with no income.

Community impact 

From earlier experience, we see that the women we trained, employ others in their businesses.

Having less poverty and more jobs contribute to end transactional sex and thus to reduce HIV incidences.

Wa-Wa expects to indirectly benefit 200 children, relatives and employees through the five trainees.


The project costs Ksh 300,000 (or €2,330) or training 5 young women to start their own business. The donations will be used for:

  • A 3-months training on fashion and design.
  • Start-up capital to establish their own tailoring business.
  • Intensive mentoring for 8 months and follow-up mentoring until a trainee can stand on their own.
  • For project sustainability strategy, trainees will be encouraged to join a table banking scheme. Table banking is a platform where women can access loans in the form of a start-up kit with materials, or a small loan in money for their businesses. The interest accrued will be used for the expansion and growth of their group and businesses.

Every additional €465 will allow Wa-Wa Kenya to train another young woman. They can train up to 10 women a month (120 per year) in fashion business.


  • I do appreciate Wa-Wa for training me on soap making and start up business grant of Ksh40,000 (or €310). Since then I have been making soap and selling to the local community, supermarkets and schools. I sell the solid soap at Ksh40 and the liquid soap of 500ml for Ksh50. making an accrued profit of Ksh130,000 (or €1010). As a result, I have been able to provide food, clothing, and medical care for my family. Since then, my business has grown and I have also brought two young women to assist me.

    Grace Anyango (a widow of 24 years old and a mother 2 children)

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    Project Details

    • Project:
      Fashion Business Academy
    • NGO:
      Wa-Wa Kenya
    • Location:
    • Start date:
      January 1, 2022
    • End date:
      December 31, 2022

    About Wa-Wa Kenya

    Wa-Wa is a fisher women academy with an aim of bringing equality in the society through economic empowerment of women and girls. Training vulnerable young women in entrepreneurship, so that they can determine the course of their lives and achieve their potential, is the core business of Wa-Wa Kenya.

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