For more than seven years, Mudhoda Monica, a resident of Buyende has been trading in food and vegetables.
She admits that much as her business is growing, she has never minded to establish the profit margin, neither does she know its exact monetary worth because she does not have any records of the same.
On the other hand, it had never crossed Samuel Kadwadwa’s mind that it was important and possible to undertake an enterprise mix on the sides of his sugarcane growing business he has ran for over ten years.
However, at the end one a week Basic Enterprise Startup Tools training organized for Busoga region entrepreneurs by Enterprise Uganda in conjunction with the Jinja Woman MP Loy Katali at The Source of the Nile Agricultural Show Grounds, Mukhoda and Kadwadwa were among the thousands that went back home charged with a completely changed mindset about business establishment and management.
Katali observed that many people in Busoga region are perishing and wallowing in abject poverty for lack of the basic knowledge required to either start or manage businesses sustainably, with many of them wrongly thinking that millions of money must first be availed to them in order to start business.
“Fighting a good fight against poverty in Busoga must start with consistently pushing for the mindset change agenda; a positive mindset about work helps people to adopt to the culture of believing in starting small as much as possible and set the eyes on the goal of growing big with time…..this is the gist of our partnership with Enterprise Uganda,” she said.
The legislator revealed that the region is still in a critical need of sensitization, citing dismaying examples of numerous village groups that still pool their meagre finances, not for investment but consumption on special days like Christmas.
Against that background, the Enterprise Uganda business management training team of experts took over 1,500 entrepreneurs through the basic general principles of starting and managing enterprises including; records keeping, customer care, managing human resource, growing joint ventures/group investments, starting businesses with idle resources around households, packaging, marketing among others.
According to the Enterprise Uganda Executive Director Charles Ocici, there is promising enterprise development potential in Busoga but the locals are locked into believing that without growing sugarcane, the region does not have more or better investment opportunities.
“What makes sugarcane growing appear like the best option is the availability of the market provided by big sugar producers in the area; because market is a key function in the equation, the locals need to drop that single value chain mentality, venture into other areas and look for markets in areas like Kampala, a bigger market within a 45 minute drive distance,” he said.
He added that a negative mindset confines people in joblessness, not knowing that focused entrepreneurs can raise farms of goats within a couple of years having started with just one he and she goat; the trick lies in running it with a commercial mindset and leave room for them to multiply through progressive generational reproduction.