“You don’t have to have millions of shillings or be an expert in a particular field to start and run a successful enterprise. But you must have courage, determination and focus to achieve your dream.” This is what Hajjat Aisha Nakasujja, the proprietor and Chief Executive Officer of one of the leading herbal medicine, food supplements and cosmetics manufacturing companies in Uganda believes.
Following a crippling personal setback that left her in complete financial ruin, Hajjat Nakasujja was not sure how she would pick up the pieces and start making a living. As she pondered this challenge, she began the activities that would eventually lead to the birth of Aloesha Organic Natural Health Products Ltd. The company was born out of a passionate desire first to help her friends finds find natural remedies for their health problems and second (in that order), to make a financial come-back.
Having been introduced to a variety of medicinal plants by her mother at a young age, Hajjat Nakasujja had always been fascinated by clinical nutrition and herbal medicines. This fascination stimulated her desire to pursue a career and later start a business in this field.
To further polish the skills she had learned from her mother, Hajjat Nakasujja obtained training in nutritional medicine at Plaskett International College, in the United Kingdom. Immediately after qualifying as a psychotherapist in 2008, Hajjat Nakasujja began offering free consultation services and herbal medicinal formulas to members of her family and friends, free of charge. Hajjat Nakasujja soon learned however, that the people she was “helping” did not know how to identify the medicinal plants in her herbal formulas. This compelled her to change her approach. Instead of providing herbal formulas, Hajjat
Nakasujja started blending the herbs herself; using herbs picked form her mother’s garden in Wakiso. Read More
She just wanted to create a small business that would help her earn an income upon retirement and also create employment for a few close relatives. Today, Ms. Regina Nakayenga is a budding billionaire, having been bitten by the entrepreneur bug that stimulated her zeal, resilience and determination to pursue giant dreams.
Her company, Rena Beverage Solutions, is a home-based enterprise that produces a range of beverage products from both the trumpet-shaped hibiscus flower and hibiscus seeds. The products include Rena Hibi Drink, a ready-to-drink nutritional juice, Rena Hibi Concentrate – a concentrated juice and Rena Hibi Tea, a soluble powder that may be dissolved in hot or cold
water. The firm also produces sweet and dry hibiscus wines.
The single mother of five and former entrepreneurship lecturer at Kyambogo University says that putting the theories she always taught her students into practice, has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of her life. “While a lecturer, I always felt hypocritical when I taught business skills that I had never actually used and had no real experience with. That challenged
me to establish a business,” she explains. Read More
Clare Kabakyenga spent five years in the civil service, working as the Mbarara District Secretary for Social Services. She contributed to policy formulation and monitored the implementation of government programmes to conserve the environment and improve children’s welfare.
Back then in the ’90s, although she had used some of her savings to purchase and register the 20 acre Ifapio Farm Ltd. It never crossed her mind that one day she would trade the comfort of her office for the open fields. In 2005, however, the need to ensure food security for her family, increase her income and become her own boss forced her to resign from her government job and venture into agribusiness. Located in Rukuuba Village, Isingiro District, about 400 kilometres South of Uganda’s capital Kampala, Ifapio Farm has more than doubled in size since then. Ms. Kabakyenga started out as an Irish potato farmer. Today, she grow and exports Irish potates, maize and beans within the East African Community and to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ms. Kabakyenga is also the Chairperson of Manyakabi Area Cooperative Enterprise, a cooperative union, comprised of 8,105 rural farmers (89 percent of who are women), organized into 99 women groups, each of which is a registered primary cooperative society.
The farmers grow maize and beans on small farm holdings. The cooperative then bulks the produce for marketing. Read More