Michael Mgongolwa, a resident of Ndolela village in rural Iringa, dreamed of transitioning from a subsistence farmer to a  businessman, but wasn’t aware of any entrepreneurship opportunities in his community. Fortunately, he was introduced to the Feed the Future Tanzania Advancing Youth activity and enrolled in entrepreneurship training. He was able to develop a market survey plan to help him identify business opportunities he could engage in. 

“With readily available electricity in the area, I realized that many construction projects were taking place. This informed my decision to establish an electrical hardware store that would provide merchandise used in construction. I have built a good network with construction builders in the area who order materials in bulk from my store” says Michael.

With the profits from his electrical hardware store, Michael invested in another business. “Since I make a profit of between 400,000 to 500,000 shillings ($174 to $217) each month from the hardware store, I decided to open a pharmacy which my wife runs,” remarks Michael. 

Also, as a Community Mobilizer for Advancing Youth, he uses his leadership skills to help other youth in his area. “I have three savings and lending groups which I established to help promote a culture of saving among the youth in my community. Currently, the three groups have a total of 32 Million shillings ($14,000) in savings.”

Utilizing the leadership skills garnered through Advancing Youth training, Michael heads the Legal Aid Iringa Village office that provides legal services on land issues and other disputes  in his community. He is working with his Youth Savings and Lending Association  to diversify their activities into beekeeping and has also approached the village council to allocate six hectares of land for the project. 

“Advancing Youth has changed my mindset and helped me focus on developing my family and my community.” 

“I am grateful to Advancing Youth, the project opened my eyes on entrepreneurship opportunities in my area but also imparted me with skills that have led to success in my businesses. Being able to play a role in the success of other youth like myself makes me beam with pride. I have not only earned a living but also played a role in the success of other youth." ~Michael Mgongolwa~