Caroline aged 25 years and stays in kamwokya has been looking for jobs since she dropped out of school after her senior three. She has had business ideas for a long time but lacked capital to start all the ideas because they needed a lot of money. When Caroline heard the announcement about the program at their church (Passover harvest center) Kamwokya she was quick to apply because some of the reasons she wasn’t getting a job was because she didn’t have any computer skills.
After a few weeks when the other ladies were sharing their ideas, Caroline shared hers and it’s from then that she started building on her idea of making Iced Juice and Chapattis.
The classes helped her understand her customers and also helped to shape her into a business woman, passionate and creative. She later got a job as a cleaner at a restaurant and that’s how she generated capital to start her business.
Caroline now sells iced juiced to students of St Thomas primary school Kiswa and she is looking at adding selling sim sim to her business. With all the confidence and zeal, Caroline feels like she can do anything at the moment.
When I was at the university studying Computer science, I had my career planned out. I wanted to get a job in a tech field but after the frustrations of job seeking and non-retained internships, my hope started waning. Just when I was about to give up, I had an opportunity to get involved in a training program. A program that would help me level up to become employable. A program that would improve my tech skills, give me life skills and a practical approach on how to hook a job in a male dominated field and level up! This program is the Code Girls level up program by the Women In Technology Uganda (WITU).
What started out as an intensive program in applications development, UX design and CERT trainings became an eye opener. I saw first-hand through the networking events Barbara took us to, the mock interview sessions during her life skills class how the tech world really works. What it requires to be employable, what tech companies look for when hiring. I began to realise that my good grades were not enough, I had to show practically what I can do. I had to level-up! I am so grateful to Barbara because through this program, I did level-up!
Two months into the program, I got a job interview with Medecins sans frontiers-Swiss (Doctors without borders). I was a little nervous but this time I was confident and ready to face the panel of interviewers. Three days later, I got the job!
I am glad I joined the level-up program at WITU; it has polished me, equipped me with skills and shaped me into an employable young woman in tech! I am happy in my career path working with ERP systems for a reputable organisation.
Hannah got to know about the WITU CLSP program through her aunt’s friend who advised her to join because she wasn’t continuing with school after her senior 4 due to lack of tuition, she applied and joined for the 11th cohort.
Through the continuous encouragement and push from the entrepreneurship and life skills classes, Hannah became a visionary lady who wanted to achieve much before the end of the program.
It was in the entrepreneurship practical class that Hannah learnt how to make liquid soap which she went ahead to turn into a business.She also learnt how technology can help her business and has incorporated these digital marketing methods into her business. With Ugshs 40000 Haliilah started her liquid soap business, this has enabled her to get on a journey of achieving her dream of owning a shoe store.
Besides her liquid soap business Hannah also sells shoes as a side business and all this was achieved within the 3 months of the program.
Tusubira Brenda joined WITU CLSP program while in her S.6 vacation,in the Jan to March 2016 Cohort with no hope of joining university due to financial status at home. While pondering on what to do next, a friend introduced her to WITU programs and encouraged her to apply. Brenda enrolled for the three months Career, Leadership and Life Skills training Program (CLSP). The training empowers the girls with employability skills,and helping the girls confidently apply the skills that they have acquired. The curriculum shapes attitudes and equips the girls with practical skills on key soft skills that are a core component of employment requirements in Uganda. With the skills acquired Brenda managed to write a good application letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV). She confidently expressed herself during the interviews, thus getting a job with Uhy Thakkar & Associates Certified public accountant, ST & Associates in Kololo Kampala Uganda. The firm provides audit, bookkeeping and tax services to a portfolio of clients in additional sectors such as construction, tourism, manufacturing and Not for Profit/NGO industries. She joined as an office assistant managing data entry and digital portfolio management.
Nassiwa Bena a S 3 dropout from Bright senior secondary Masaka in 2007 because of tuition issues, by then the tuition was 160,000/= UGX. In 2013, she travelled to Kampala to live with the auntie in Kamwokya Kisenyi II, where she was learning hair dressing but she did not complete because along the way she got married. One day while attending mass at Poly Trinity Catholic church Kamokya she learnt of an opportunity to enroll at Women in Technology Uganda (WITU) for free training. She enrolled in the 2nd cohort of April to June 2014 of the career, leadership and lifeskills training program. The career, leadership and life skills training is meant to increase the young girl’s chances at finding gainful employment or starting a business.
During the entrepreneurship classes the team was given an opportunity to identify community challenges or problems that would turn into a business venture. Bena identified that her home area needed a grocery shop because most of the shops were quite a good distance. She saw an opportunity of opening a grocery shop near her home to solve the challenge of moving a long distance to the shops. Bena later developed a business plan for her business ideas which helped her to see how feasible the business would be,how to manage, run and scale a start up grocery shop.
With the clear business plan in hand Bena embarked on looking for capital to start the business. In October 2015,She asked her husband for the capital who offered 500,000/=UGX for her to start up a grocery shop in her home area located in Kamwokya church road area zone. By Dec 2016 Bena’s grocery shop is worthy 1.500.000/= UGX She has dreams of expanding her shop to becoming both a wholesale and retail shop. She uses technology to market her business and follow up on customers.
Nabbale Fazirah of Bukoto Nakawa division Kampala Uganda first born in the family 6 children is a S.5 drop out due to school fees from Kitante Hill secondary school had lost hope of school and as she was figuring out what to do next,a friend from the previous cohort introduced her to WITU under the CLSP program which she applied and joined in the July to September cohort of 2015. The career, leadership and life skills training is meant to increase the young girl’s chances at finding gainful employment or starting a business. During the entrepreneurship classes the team was taught how to start and grow a business where Fazirah identified that she can and needs to startup a shoe business.She developed a business plan for her business idea which helped her to see how feasible her business would be,how to manage, run and scale her start up With the clear business plan in hand, Fazirah got 100,000 from her sister and she started her business of selling shoes. She buys shoes at 10,000 or 15,000 and she sells them to her former teachers and schoolmates from Kitante Hill secondary school at 15000 for those she bought at 10,000 and 20,000 for those she bought at 15000 making a profit 5,000 on each pair. She also uses social media to find clients and delivers since she runs a mobile business. Fazirah’s business started with 100,000 and she has 300,000 working capital and is excited about scaling and growing it to open a shop.
Nassolo Maureen joined WITU in 2014 for the 2nd Cohort and graduated in October that year. During her time at WITU, she was also running a Printing and Binding business at Nasser Road, that only paid when she got customers. It wasn’t a constant wage, so it wasn’t enough to cover her daily expenses. Maureen was also in her last semester at Makerere University pursuing a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences. Her commitment to her business, school and the CLSP Program at WITU interested the staff at WITU, who later offered her a job as a Program Assistant that would be able to earn her enough to cover all the her expenses. Maureen is still one of the most committed staff members at WITU.