The Shining Queens Support group, which helps HIV positive peer educators adhere to their Antiretroviral Treatment, now has 15 members who meet monthly. They discuss topics such as positive living, the importance of treatment adherence and hygiene. Excitingly, the ladies have also formed a business collective and plan to start a burger and chips business to increase their financial independence.
Female entrepreneurs living in poverty face two major barriers to business opportunity: lack of education and lack of capital. The Shining Star Business and Livelihoods programmes seek to change this.
The peer educators took their first step to entrepreneurship through a business Management training workshop. The ladies learnt about basic business management, such as being able to distinguish between capital, profit and loss. Using their new skills, they were able to carry out market research and write their own business proposals. In July, 25 of the best business proposals were funded. 27 ladies, including 3 who collaborated to start a business, were empowered to take another step closer to financial independence. The businesses included grocery selling, chicken rearing, floor polish making, beauty product business and shoe selling.