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Jenifer Yacob

India

Born and raised in rural India, Jenifer’s dream was to become a dentist. Unfortunately, her parents couldn’t afford the tuition fees – so she had to become a dental technician instead. But thanks to her determination and with the help of our local member organisation in India, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST), she was able to set up a successful business and help other young people like her.

A young entrepreneur’s dream

At first, Jenifer was very disappointed that she could not pursue her dream of becoming a dentist, but she did not let this stop her ambition. In fact, this setback made her even more determined to become financially independent so she could support her family and create opportunities for other disadvantaged people, especially women. After completing her degree in 2008, Jenifer started her business, Oscar Dental Laboratory, manufacturing artificial tooth implants.

Difficult beginnings

Starting up wasn’t easy for Jenifer: Being the first entrepreneur in her family she had no prior knowledge or guidance on how to run a business and was lacking financial support. But then Jenifer heard about YBI’s local member organisation in India, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST), from another young entrepreneur and immediately reached out to them for support in establishing her business. She received entrepreneurship training, access to finance and was matched with a mentor who motivated her, helped her gain clarity on her vision, and supported her to strategically implement and execute her business plans.

Jenifer started out with a capital of just INR 10,000, which is equivalent to around £ 105. Twelve years on, she runs a successful business supporting herself and her family and has created jobs for 21 full-time employees. She is the only female manufacturer in her region and is keen to provide opportunities to underprivileged youth, particularly young women. Jenifer’s only requirement for her trainees is that they are sharp and eager to learn.

A bright future for Jenifer’s business

Her goals for the next few years are ambitious: She wants to set up a chain of dental clinics as well as a state-of-the-art training institute for dental technicians. Proud of her incredible achievements, Jenifer would like to see her three daughters follow in her footsteps and become entrepreneurs in fields they are passionate about. She would like to encourage anyone who thinks about starting their own business:

“Be bold and come out of your shell! The world is beautiful and you can add more beautiful colours to it.”


This week, we are sharing stories of inspiring young female entrepreneurs like Jenifer for International Women's Day. These women are challenging stereotypes, breaking barriers and providing opportunities for others.

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