At 21, Derartu finished her education and set out to start her career. A few months later, the Covid pandemic closed off jobs across Ethiopia and Derartu moved back home with her family. With limited opportunities to earn an income in her remote village, especially for women, Derartu felt stuck.

Derartu noticed her father’s success with a microloan for potatoes. As she learned more about the loans and business trainings available through Glimmer, she began to see the possibility of starting her own business. Derartu calculated how many chickens she needed to make a profit, and soon she was off and running with her first loan.

Derartu smiling

Now, Derartu is a thriving poultry-business owner, allowing her to provide for herself and her family. She shared, “After graduation, I was very stressed about being unemployed. Even after I received the chickens, there were ups and downs until they laid eggs. Once they started laying eggs, they made me forget all my stress. Now I am happy, and I know that my family is happy because of my poultry business.”

Derartu is taking all that she has learned to open a poultry enterprise that will give her neighbors the opportunity to buy chickens, or even take as a loan, directly from Derartu. This will allow more farmers local access to chickens and the opportunity to get training and advice from Derartu. With recent widespread poultry disease in the regional market, it is an especially important time for more localized resources to fill the demand for local chickens unaffected by disease—a win for Derartu’s growing business and for her neighbors.

For Derartu, a setback set her on a new path. Now, she is a confident businesswoman and leader among her peers and family.

Derartu feeding several chickens

“As I compare our life before the loan to now, I am very happy. In the future I want to expand and buy a lot of chickens. I want to help those around me, even provide chickens to others. If we hadn’t received this support, I know that we would suffer, but we wouldn’t give up. With this support, we’re able to achieve more.”