Nahida Bibi, a 27-year-old from Sultanabad, Yasin, embodies the success of a businesswoman; one who starts with small investments and big hopes to establish themselves as a successful entrepreneur.

After completing her Intermediate, Nahida felt pursuing vocational training would help her on her path to becoming an entrepreneur. She decided to attain beautician training from a local trainer in Gahkuch. Nahida’s family, which consisted of 11 members, had no regular source of income. Her father was a daily wage earner and a part-time employee of a local support organisation.

Nahida returned to her village after completing her training and decided to start her own business to support her father and utilize her skills best. With very limited resources, she set up a beauty parlour in Taus in 2021 by placing a mirror, a chair, and a few required items in a small shop.

Nahida was motivated and optimistic about the success of her business, so she reinvested every penny she earned to expand it. After running the business for over eight months, she found it difficult to continue because she lacked the items necessary to attract customers. Meanwhile, her family could not invest more in the business, although their moral support was always with her. Furthermore, her father’s deteriorating health did not allow him to earn enough to help his family meet household expenses.

With the support of the Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) of the Ismaili Council, she expanded her business by advancing parlour items, buying cosmetics, and renovating her shop to make it attractive to customers. It has been over two years; Nahida is now a successful businesswoman and renowned beautician. Her customers are rapidly increasing. Nahida’s earnings have lessened the burden on her father, and she is now contributing equally to her family, comparable to her brothers and father. She is also looking after all the household needs and fulfilling them comfortably. In addition, she contributed to improving her brothers’ prospects. She supported one of her brothers to start a small enterprise in Karachi and contributed to constructing their new house in the village.

“The main reason behind my success is the support of my brothers and father, who backed me when I started my business,” Nahida said. She now trains young females to become beauticians, which is not only increasing her income but also helping other girls acquire skills and become financially independent. She went on to say, “With the support from my family and institutions, I could believe in myself. I advise other girls to learn skills because once they acquire them, our institutions are there to pave the path to success for us.”