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Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
News article8 March 2024Directorate-General for International Partnerships2 min read

Empowered Tailor: Medina sets up tailoring business in Uganda

Thanks to the "Support Programme to the Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU)", Medina is the proud owner of 'Medina Classic Business Center,'

Medina Maneno, owner of a tailoring business-Adjumani town, Uganda © Enabel Uganda
Medina Maneno, owner of a tailoring business-Adjumani town, Uganda © Enabel Uganda

71% of young people in the West Nile region of Uganda live in extreme poverty due to a high unemployment rate of 31%. The European Union Trust Fund for Africa supports the implementation of the Support to Skilling Strategy in Uganda. This project is based in Northern Uganda and is implemented by Enabel and the Ministry of Education and Sports. The project focusses on enhancing youth employability by improving the quality of instruction and learning in skills development. The intervention has been conducted in Karamoja region, Northern region and the district of Kiryandongo since its inception in 2015.

At first, my parents were doing everything for me. But now, I can take care of myself and also support them. They are very proud of me.” – Medina Maneno said. “My business is doing well, she says and “because I had worked before, some people in the community become accustomed to me and became my customers when I started out on my own”.  

At an early age, Media experienced a set-back in her life when she was forced to drop out of school, due to challenges in paying for school fees. However, Medina did not let this define her future. She saw an opportunity that could change her life and she went for it. A friend informed her about a tailoring training advert in the newspaper. Medina decided to apply for it and fortunately, she was accepted into the programme. Taking on tailoring comes with its own challenges.

Medina showing off some of the dresses she tailored. © Enabel Uganda
Medina showing off some of the dresses she tailored. © Enabel Uganda

Due to a highly saturated market, it is not easy to stand out and make a mark in the market as a tailor. In order to thrive in a competitive market, Medina has established three sources of income in her business. She sells imported African print material from Congo, makes clothes on special order and sells clothes on display in her shop which she already tailored. “My peak season is Christmas time where I get many orders and I can take home an average of UGX 80,000($21) a day.” Through her actions, Medina is inspiring others to follow suit. She is currently training two young women who were introduced to her by their parents. She trains them at a fee of UGX 60,000($16) per month for 6-months.

 “I am helping my parents to pay school fees for my brother who is still in primary school so that he does not drop out like I did.” she explains.

Regarding her future plans, Medina states: “I plan to shift to an even more spacious location so that I can have more storage space for my materials and tailored clothes”.

Medina practices good record keeping and also has a bank account for savings. She attributes this to the skills she learnt during the business skills training on re-investing back into her business.  




Publication date
8 March 2024
Directorate-General for International Partnerships
Region and Country
  • Horn of Africa
  • Uganda
  • Greater economic and employment opportunities
  • Strengthening resilience of communities
  • ENABEL - Belgian Development Agency

Programmes in the region

The action aims to enhance the ability of women and children in the States of Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref to lead socially and economically productive lives, and in doing so strengthen their resilience and that of their communities.