The power of data: dLab empowers women through Data4Her
“It feels like I have become a new person. A new world has been opened to me,” says Swaumu Kiriwe, 33 when talking about Tanzania Data Lab (dLab’s) program “Data4Her”. Swaumu is one of the 45 women who went through the five-day program in Dar es Salaam this March. The training was organized in celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day.
Data4Her is a dLab initiative helping young career women gain an understanding on how to use data to grow and expand their businesses. This year, the program has reached women in four regions including Mbeya, Shinyanga and Kagera, training women aged 18-35. So far, the program has empowered 151 women who own and manage small businesses.
Swaumu, who makes and sells tea spices, has been running her business for eight months. Through Data4Her, she has learnt how to add value to her product, expand her market reach, and that “I should never use the money I get through my business without accounting for it. I did not know this,” she says with a laugh.
Many of the other women echo Swaumu words. Before Hamida Bruno, 23 went through the program, she did not know that she was supposed to pay herself a salary through her business. “Everything seems so new,” she says. She has been running her business for three months now, selling beauty products door-to-door.
The training covered aspects of customer segmentation and market trends analysis to inform businesses. The small scale entrepreneurs were also trained on data, digital and pitching skills as a means to sustain and expand their businesses. “I have never made a pitch before,” Swaumu said with a laugh. “I feel like I have gained a lot of confidence through this program.”