Lamin is one of the youngest bakery owners in Waterloo, Sierra Leone, employing four other young people. Together they produce over a thousand loaves each day, providing a good living for themselves and their families.
Things were not always this way for Lamin and still aren’t for many young Sierra Leoneans who face huge challenges when it comes to making a living.
Before opening his bakery, Lamin’s livelihood depended on subsistence work like gardening, which provided him with an income of roughly $10 a week.
All this changed when Lamin enrolled in Restless Development’s Business Development Service which supports young people to understand everything they need to run a sustainable and profitable business, from book-keeping to marketing. This training enabled Lamin to kickstart his vision for a successful bakery business.
At the end of the business course, Lamin opened his own bakery. He has faced many challenges: losing everything in a storm that soaked his premises, then rebuilding his oven as it wouldn’t retain heat.
Finally, the outbreak of Ebola forced his business to close, but with a resilience that is typical of young Sierra Leoneans, and with support from Restless Development, he picked himself up one more time.
Now, his business is thriving again and he has ambitions to buy a delivery van to secure business further afield and serve other communities. He would also like to build another bakery and some sales outlets too so that he can employ and train other young people in how to run successful businesses.
Lamin’s work and spirit is not only driving his local economy, but opening doors for more young people to change their communities in other ways.