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Fashion for mothers and children

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Fashion for mothers and children

My name is Nogaye and I come from Senegal. I’m 38 years old and married with two children. I went to Germany in 2016 to learn new things and ended up staying for almost three years. But I missed my family, and my job opportunities were also limited. With a bit of support back in Senegal, I was able to turn my business idea into a reality.

After school I studied management and microcredit. and soon found a job as a credit clerk. I had everything I needed, but still wanted to live abroad and achieve more professionally. I attended language courses in Germany and applied to a few banks. But my German wasn’t good enough to work in my profession.

Nogaye at the advisory centre in Dakar

An idea from Germany

Back in Senegal, my family welcomed me with open arms and it became clear to me that I belong here. I started to apply for different jobs, but at the same time I couldn’t stop thinking about an idea I’d brought back from Germany: maternity fashion and baby clothing for the Senegalese market. I know this sector well because my parents are tailors. So I dared to branch out into self-employment.

The advice I got from the Senegalese-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CSAEM) helped me a lot with this. A business start-up seminar taught me a lot about managing a business, bookkeeping, attracting customers and marketing. I also received financial assistance. The money enabled me to rent a studio and fit it out with furniture, sewing machines and mannequins. I got a small team together and started to work on my collection.

Nogaye in her studio

But then unfortunately the corona pandemic hit us hard. Crises like these are particularly difficult to get through if you're self-employed. But at least we can react flexibly to them. So I started to make face coverings. I hope that the country and my business will start to see an economic recovery soon.

As of: 03/2021

The opportunities for advice and assistance described here are offered as part of “Returning to New Opportunities”.

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My family welcomed me with open arms. I realised that I belonged here.

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