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Fartun, Somalia

Fartun is a young Somali woman that endured many struggles as a refugee in the Kakuma camp in Kenya. Yet, through the aid of Silatech and its partners, Fartun managed to become a successful business owner.

“I always dreamt about opening my own beauty salon but being an entrepreneur as a refugee in a foreign country was borderline impossible. Like many others, I returned to Somalia through the UNHCR Repatriation Program. I thought it would help me make a fresh start. However, I experienced many roadblocks that I did not expect. For starters, building a business from scratch requires a lot of start-up capital, which I did not have. Somalia is still recovering from a decades-long civil war and it lacks the resources to support people like me. There are no banks that offer loans to young entrepreneurs and, as a newcomer, I lacked the social networks I needed to raise money. I met many like-minded women who wanted to start their own businesses on my way from Kakuma to Kismayo. After hearing of a partnership between Silatech and the American Refugee Committee to help young entrepreneurs build their own businesses, we decided to form an 11-women cooperative, and we sent them a business proposal”.

The selection committee was eager to fund this all women collective. With the money she received, Fartun was able to fulfil her dream of opening a salon.“I am passionate about helping people, and I love our cultural beauty. I brought those together to start Fartun Beauty Salon.”

The salon offers an array of services including henna, which is very popular in Kismayo. It caters to weddings, birthdays, Eid celebrations and other events. The salon is large enough to serve up to 10 customers at a time, and the 11 women work in shifts to maximize their hours of operation.