In Kampala, there are a wealth of SME’s driving the diverse Ugandan economy. In a country that has been cited as the most entrepreneurial in the world, there is still a lot of work to do to build an economy that serves all sectors of society and allows individuals and their families access to relevant, long-term economic opportunities.
While almost 10% of Ugandans started a business last year, a fifth of individuals aged 18-64 have also discontinued a business in the past year, GEM found. Young entrepreneurs in particular have “generally low” growth expectations; few innovate or vary product lines. Creating an additional business is more common than expanding an existing one.
Ugandan businesses struggle to make it out of the starting gate and many never make it past the first hurdle. Most businesses will stay in the informal sector, which allows them to avoid paying taxes – but it also means they miss key opportunities for growth. It is Challenges’ mission to help those businesses that have cleared the first hurdle and have their eyes firmly set on the finish line. Growing a successful enterprise in such volatile climate is no easy task, and it takes planning and preparation ahead of years of hard graft. Make no mistakes, running an African SME is definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. That is where Challenges come in. With our worldwide network of experienced business professionals and our internationally recognised business diagnostic tools and training, Challenges is the coach that can help you develop a robust training regime to take your business from investment worthiness to investment readiness. With our knowledge of Private Sector Development, we can help you navigate the pitfalls that have tripped up those who have tried and failed. Once we are both happy you are ready for the race, we can get you on the starting line in front of an audience of international investors and trade partners who are ready and waiting to work with a robust, innovative and socially conscious business.
As part of Challenges work to support enterprises in emerging economies we run a 3-month onsite business diagnostic programme where we engage enterprises to understand organisational capacity, explore growth options and connect to tailored solutions. This work is delivered by our “Business Support Associates” – a diverse team of young volunteers from across Uganda and the UK who are learning CMI accredited Professional Consulting whilst taking part in the Challenges Worldwide ICS programme.
We have had a team of Business Support Associates working to support SME’s across Kampala since late February. Here are the exciting businesses that we hope to take from investment readiness to investment worthiness.
Kampala Diplomatic School
Sector: education and agriculture
Location: 10 Naguru Hill Rise, P.O.Box 36382, Kampala Uganda
Year Founded: 2011
Number of employees: 25
Website: https://www.kampaladiplomaticinternationalschool.com/ https://www.facebook.com/kampaladiplomaticschool?ref=bookmarks https://twitter.com/benconollygroup
Volunteer Team: Joshua and Nicole
Teaching the international British curriculum to around 100 students between the ages of 2 and 18 in one academic year. The School operates a farm in Nwoya district in rural Northern Uganda. The proceeds from this farm support the school. The school farm also serves as a centre to teach students a practical introduction to agriculture. The school farm hires rural based human resources and supplies food to rural customers.
Sector Of Industry– Health sector (Dental)
No of employees – 3
Location– Kira Rd, Kamwokya
Social Media – Twitter and Facebook – Code Clinic
Volunteer team – Fyza and Sandra
Description: Code Clinic (centre of dental excellence) is an oral Hygiene centre which was started up in 2012. Its vision is to provide the highest level of customer service possible and has supported 20 million people in getting healthier teeth by 2027. They also aim to make a wider social impact through holding seminars to inform the general public of the importance of a high standard of dental hygiene.
Pure Products Ltd.
Sector or industry: Food and Drink
No. of employees: 14
Volunteer Team: Tara and Christine
Description: Established in 2008, Pure Products Ltd. is a market-based social venture that produces clean & affordable drinking water in reusable and non-reusable plastic bottles. Social & environmental impact lies at the forefront of their business objectives, with the enterprise hiring and training unemployed youth in Kampala, and also distributing low-cost clean water to slum areas.
Cooling Solutions Ltd.
Description: Cooling Solutions Ltd. is a service-based business which provides the installation and maintenance service of air-conditioning (AC) as well as other refrigeration products and components in Uganda. This small business has plans to expand operations nationwide and into neighbouring Rwanda. The company’s long-term ambition is to supply solar-powered AC and solar-powered water heaters in the more rural communities across the region.
Bextar Hot Cake Shop
Location: Ntinda, Nakawa Road
Number of Employees: 5
Volunteers: Rhyan and Harriet
Description: Bextar hotcakes is a small local business in Ntinda. Kampala . founded in 2015 it has trained 10 unemployed youths, giving them baking skills keeping the most promising students on as employees
Number of employees: 10
Location: Hive Collab, Level 4, Kanjokya House, Plot 90 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya, Kampala
Volunteers: Sam and Jacob
Description: Crystal Technologies provide all kinds of ICT solutions and consulting in hardware, software, and networking. Current focuses include ICT maintenance services, desktop virtualization infrastructure, and digital education.
Sector or industry – Motorbikes, parts, and services
Location – HQ located at; ‘SILVA HOUSE’, Shop No. 4, Plot No. 62, Bombo Road, P.O.Box. 36267, Kampala, Uganda
Website – www.miraclemotors.org
Business description – Miracle Motors sell Mahindra motorbikes from India to people across Uganda, as well as spare parts and servicing for motorbikes. The business is growing and wants to be the leading distributor of two wheelers in Uganda by the end of 2017.
Sector or industry: Agriculture/Agribusiness
No of employees: 8 = 4 full time, 4 part time.
Location: Plot 450 & 499, Kezilon Rd, Bukoto.
Social Media: https://twitter.com/we_farm
Description: WeFarm is a free peer-to-peer service that enables farmers to share information via SMS, without the internet and without having to leave their farm. Farmers ask questions related to farming and receive crowd-sourced answers from other farmers around the world in minutes.
NOGAMU (National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda)
No. of Employees: 25
Location: Plot 957, Galukande Close, off Tankhill Road, Muyenga, Kampala
Description: NOGAMU started local organic farmers’ markets with the aim of promoting visibility and consumption of organic products on local markets. It currently organises about one hundred smallholder farmers in exclusive organic markets in Kampala and Entebbe. Last year it organised about 60 mobile organic farmer markets in three malls and one hotel.
Sector of industry: Agriculture
Number of employees: 29
Location: Kasangati, Nangabo
Business Description: Biofresh Limited exports both fresh and dried fruits/ vegetables, which are certified organic and fair trade by institute of Marketecology (IMO) in Switzerland. Biofresh has contracted 167 small scale farmers in 17 districts in Uganda. All the products that they export have been grown by these small-scale farmers that are based in the rural areas.
Sector of industry: Waste processing
Number of employees: 48
Description: Bioelectricity collects waste in rural areas, raising awareness about repercussions of poor waste management. It turns it into organic fertiliser and organic pesticides, selling to farmers in the local, collected area, at a reduced rate.