Last Friday, 26th Feb, we held a meet-up of young entrepreneurs at the WITU Hub. Women in Business is a program that we have started to bring together young women who have started or are looking to start small businesses in their communities. Most young girls lack information that will help them to grow their businesses. Some also lack motivation when they start out these entrepreneurial ventures. It is very easy to fall back into an ‘I’m in this alone’ state when you don’t have people cheering you on and giving you tips once in a while . Women in Business seeks to be a safe place for these young entrepreneurs to learn, share and realize the potential of their businesses.
We met Viola, a university student at Kampala International University. University students love convenience which Viola identified as an opportunity. Before classes start, she photocopies hand out notes which she then sells them to her classmates. She shared that this was an easy way for her to earn money for her upkeep and transport at school. Her biggest challenge though is that sometimes she photocopies more handouts than her classmates buy. She ends up with a lot of extra notes and less profit than she anticipated.
At this point, Winnie, a shop attendant in her mother’s shop, advised Viola to either sell the extra handouts as paper to people who make chapatis and roast ‘gonja’ or to make paper packs to sell. We asked Winnie if she could teach Viola how to make the paper packs, an opportunity to learn that all the girls were excited about.
At the end of the day, the Women in Business group had taught Viola how to overcome her challenge and also make extra money. The entire group also acquired a skill that they can take on as business idea. We are all excited to see how Viola is progressing in her business at the next meet-up next month.