Milly Nakayi sells peas, and so did I. Growing up in a small Wisconsin town, my family has long been in the food business. My Dad lived on the family farm, working hard for hours each morning before walking to school. After marrying my mom, he joined her family’s business – Lakeside Foods. Dad would come home with fresh vegetables and it was the best. I loved it so much that at age five, I created my own little business by selling peas door-to-door.
Over 30 years later, I visited Uganda and met Milly. Milly had gone through BeadforLife’s business training and created a vegetable selling business, her most famous item being fresh peas. Her story peaked my interest, as she works in the wee hours of the morning making sure her vegetable stall and fresh peas are ready for customers. Milly is determined to grow her business with the knowledge and tools she gained through our entrepreneurial training. This stellar work ethic is what BeadforLife was founded upon. We don’t believe in handouts, but a hand-up.
“Give a woman a fish and she eats for a day. Teach a woman to fish and she feeds the whole village for a lifetime.”
Women want to have a sense of purpose and feel pride in their own hard work. I am so proud of the women we serve. When I got to visit Milly in 2012, it was a career highlight. Seeing her standing in front of her business and selling her peas, she glowed like a celebrity. This moment exemplified the true connection we make to the women we work with. When I dream big about BeadforLife, I dream about how we will reach 1 million Millys through Street Business School, whose lives will be forever changed through the power of their own hard work. These women radiate hope, resilience and brilliance around the businesses they create. They become resourceful, confident and they are empowered. Together, we have the ability to empower through selling beautiful, handcrafted jewelry that helps women in Uganda support their families. Join us!