Her mother, also a single parent, passed away when she was very young meaning she was unable to go to school.
Determined to accomplish her dream of becoming a successful businesswoman Adama began plaiting hair, charging 1,000 Leones per customer. Gradually she saved up 200,000 Leones which she used to buy produce like groundnut oil, rice, ginger, eggs, rice and beans to sell. But it wasn’t as easy as she thought…
‘I found it very difficult, I had no idea how to start a business and I was not very successful.’
Adama heard about a two year training programme teaching literacy, numeracy and business skills and immediately signed up.
‘The difference between my business now and my business before I received the training is great. I never used to keep records of what I was selling and had no idea whether I was making profit… Now I do proper calculations, so I know how much money to invest into my business.’
Adama says it’s not just her business that has improved…
‘Before, when I was fighting to survive, people looked down on me and didn’t respect me. If I ever tried to borrow money from people they always said ‘No’. But now I am successful people are coming to me for loans and asking for advice, my status in the community has really improved.’
She recognises that there are many other young women like her in her community struggling to support their families and Adama has made it her mission to make a difference.
‘I am trying to help the women who have not had the same opportunities as me. I am sharing the knowledge I have learnt with ten women in the community.
‘The other day a lady came to me saying she wanted to start a nut selling business. I gave her enough nuts to start her business and worked with her to make a plan where she could pay me back with her profits. She started with four cups of nuts and her business has been successful and she now has eight cups – in just a few days.’
Adama’s dream is to one day move her business from her home to her own shop and encourage her daughter to become a strong businesswoman ‘I’m already teaching my daughter about business. I am teaching her how to interact with the customers and how to count money… The most important thing is that she can go to school because I want to see her grow up to be a leader in society.’