Dadas at Maryhill High School are building a social enterprise without even leaving campus.

Problem:
Students are expected to maintain a uniform hairstyle, but there are only blow-drying sessions at the school once or twice a term. In addition, plaiting and blowdrying hair can be expensive and are not affordable for all.

Solution:
The Maryhill Akili Dada Club decided to start to invest in a small business to offer low cost services to Maryhill students.  The Club invested Ksh 14,500 to purchase new blowdryers, adapters and combs to start the project.  The blowdrying sessions take place once every two weeks and Club members are involved in every step of the planning, implementation and management of the project. Their services currently include blowdrying, straightening and oiling, but they are also planning to expand their services to include hair-washing as well.

The project serves approximately 30 to 35 students in every 2 to 3 hour session. They charge Ksh. 70 for students who are doing full blowdry and Ksh. 40 for those who are doing straightening. In one working day, they are able to make about Ksh. 1000 to Ksh. 1400.

Beyond the value of the direct services provided, the Akili Dada Club is reinvesting their profits to support Maryhill students. After learning that one of their fellow Club Members was having trouble paying her school fees, the group pledged to pay Ksh. 10,000 to help her in clearing her balance. In addition to offering financial support, she was also connected with an Akili Dada mentor.

If this is what Dadas are doing as teens, just imagine what kind of innovative solutions they'll be creating at age 30.

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