UBC Sauder School of Business LIFT is a student-led business skills training course for aspiring entrepreneurs in Kenya and Ghana. In 2021, UBC Sauder LIFT partnered with charitable organization One Girl Can to make business training more accessible for young women in the Kibera and Mathare communities of Nairobi, Kenya.
Aspiring entrepreneur and baker Caroline Muthoka was one of the UBC Sauder LIFT participants.
Here’s more on her experience with the program, shared in her own words...
The idea for Carolina's Bakery was born from the need for baked goods at my university. Many of my classmates and peers eat bread, mandazi or chapati with tea for breakfast. Not all people love those options and I wanted to fill that gap.
I’m in my fourth year of studying a Bachelor of Technology in Industrial and Applied Chemistry at The Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi. Apart from my studies in chemistry, the food industry is one of my main areas of interest. I have ambitious goals for Carolina's Bakery and hope that one day it will be a large-scale, international brand. I am still a home baker but I’m planning to rent a storefront so that I can expand.
Behind the scenes: the making of one of Muthoka’s creations
I first heard about UBC Sauder LIFT (then known as the UBC Sauder Social Entrepreneurship Program) through One Girl Can. At the time, I was selling shoes in the streets of Nairobi and asked myself, “Why can't I join this program?” I’ve always aspired to be a business mogul and needed the foundational business skills as a starting point.
With the batter prepared, it’s now time to bake
It was a dream come true when I received an email from One Girl Can that said I had been selected to participate in UBC Sauder LIFT. The lessons were structured around watching videos and then answering questions related to the content. There was also a one-on-one session towards the end of the course. For me, the mentors who offered guidance were the best part of the program. I enjoyed all the meetings I had with my mentor – she was kind and always there when I needed her.
Muthoka markets her cakes for many occasions, from birthdays to graduations