Dianna-Rose Lucian Materu, is a 21 year old young leader and entrepreneur from Dodoma, Tanzania, living in Chang’ombe Ward. Dianna-Rose’s journey is a demonstration of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of youth empowerment.

Since I was little, I wanted to be a businesswoman and be financially independent. But I knew I could only do that by going to school, getting a good education, learning about my rights, and then using what I learned to help other women and girls get educated too.

Dianna-Rose began her educational journey at Mnadani Primary School and progressed to Miuyu Secondary School. Fueled by a vision to break stereotypes and pave the way for others, she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics at the University of Dar es Salaam.

Dianna firmly believed that through education, she could stand tall and make a significant impact in her community, particularly in addressing the deprivation many girls faced. Dianna was determined not to become a victim of these circumstances but, instead, to emerge as a hero and catalyst for positive change

I see education not just as a path to knowledge, but a powerful tool to dismantle stereotypes and open doors for girls like me.


In her first year at university in 2020, she saved 200,000 Tanzanian Shillings from her student allowances. She used this money to start her first business selling shoes, bangles, earrings, and perfumes to her fellow students after sourcing these items in bulk from Kariakoo Market (The biggest and the busiest market in Tanzania with a wide array of goods, from fresh produce and spices to clothing, electronics, and household items). She turned her initial savings into a total of 1,200,000 Tanzanian Shillings. With this money, she could afford to pay for her hostel, stationery, meals, and also save some in a bank account that earned interest.

Dianna-Rose, assisting a customer at her shop who came to buy clothes

Business has taught me the true power of starting where you are with what you have. Fear tried to overpower me in the beginning, questioning my ability to do both school and business. But I refused to sleep on my dreams, I took that daunting step forward, it was not easy, but the courage to embrace uncertainty propelled me to keep going everyday


Transitioning to Online Business

After completing university in 2022, Dianna returned home and transitioned her business to an online platform. Utilising sponsored ads on Facebook and Instagram, she reached a broad client base, which is when she came across a Facebook post that introduced her to Restless Development. Intrigued, she sought more information from her local government office and  joined the Kijana Wajibika Programme. Her goal was to contribute to positive change by empowering young girls to understand their rights and play a role  in developing their communities.

Dianna Rose holding the kindergarten school students sweaters she sells, as she prepares to deliver them to one of her customers

Transformative Training and Leadership Roles

Upon joining the program, Dianna underwent comprehensive training in Governance, Entrepreneurship, and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. This training proved to be helpful to her, leading to a holistic improvement in her life. Not only did her daily  sales experience a significant boost, but she also mastered digital business strategies and effective competition management. Now, with the knowledge gained, she has secured a space in one of the largest markets in her town to sell clothes, paying rent from revenue generated from online sales.

Dianna not only excelled as a business leader but also assumed leadership roles.s the head of a youth savings group she found herself.  serves as the head of the Young Entrepreneurs Association in her region. Her commitment to fostering entrepreneurship among the youth has made a significant impact on the local business community. Under her guidance, the association has thrived as a vibrant hub for aspiring entrepreneurs, providing invaluable resources and  mentorship. She passionately connects with fellow girls, advocating for sexual rights in her community  and underlining the significance of saving for business, drawing from her own journey of expanding her business with university allowances.

My journey is a message of  the remarkable impact of supporting young leaders in breaking barriers, creating opportunities, and inspiring change. To Restless Development, your support is instrumental in fostering stories like the one I am sharing with the world, shaping a future where youth power is the driving force of positive positive change.