Victorious Education Services began 19 years ago, to nurture a wholesome learner. Mrs. Barbara Ofwono says, ‘Victorious foundation is built on Godly principles and culture which defines who we are and what we do from time to time in providing quality services.’
Qn 1. What inspired you to start Victorious Education Services?
My love for children is what inspired me. It’s an inner gift from God.
I started out as a Sunday School Teacher, I believe children need to be nurtured and trained. In the 90s many people despised the occupation of being a nursery school teacher. I noticed a gap in nursery schools, children were not being catered for or trained well, in addition to that the teachers were not being nurturing towards the students. I believe children need to know they are special and need to be explained to patiently. I started my business with one million Ugandan Shillings (1,000,000), 30 chairs, no tables and over the last 19 years, I have grown from 30 students to 1,000 students . I am proud to have students that have gone through Victorious schools and are now graduates from University.
Through setting up Victorious education services, I aimed at changing the attitude the country had towards children and train a team that understood how to provide a conducive environment for children.
“If you do not handle the roots well, how will the tree grow” Barbra Ofwono
Qn 2. What are the biggest challenges you have faced in developing and running a successful enterprises?
The biggest challenge, I faced was lack of encouragement from my peers. People did not believe a young entrepreneur like me could be successful, with no female entrepreneur role models at the time. Many of my colleagues looked down on my vision to educate children. I lacked the necessary collateral to borrow money to fund my vision, I used a church loan to establish my business.
Qn 3. What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs in Uganda?
I would advise young women to identify their passion and talent, focus on your intrinsic inner energy and unique characteristics.
Young women entrepreneurs need to professionalize, in order to compete with the changing world. Young entrepreneurs need to research, know the trends that effect the global economy. In order to ensure the expansion of your business please, focus on training your employees, hands-on through the experience you have gained.
Qn 4. How has UWEAL influenced your business?
I joined UWEAL in search of knowledge and a network of women who come together to empower each other.
Through training’s and mentorship opportunities at UWEAL members are encouraged to pursue their vision.
The UWEAL community helps women grow, from the different trades of women entrepreneur’s present in Uganda. UWEAL taught me how to present myself, how to grow, maintain and brand my enterprise. Through UWEAL I learnt tips on marketing, technology and writing proposals.
Qn 5. What plans do you have for the future of Victorious Education Services?
After 19 years in Education, I feel the need to diversify. Going into social entrepreneurship to empower communities and bring change. Targeting young girls, widows, in order to bridge the gap between rich and poor.
I plan to expand Victorious Education Services, to provide Secondary School Education and Vocational Institute that will promote peoples talent and passions through skills development. Developing a vocational school is important to me because my father identified my passion for teaching, when I was applying for University. He emphasized that being a teacher was who I really was.
Qn 6. You have been recognized locally, regionally and internationally, How have these awards shaped your experiences and outlook on business?
I have 25 Awards in total, I work diligently and I am blessed that people appreciate my work. When we set up Victorious Educational Schools in Bakuli, the community where the school is located today was deprived of toilets, mothers were not going for antenatal care. We helped the community around the school improve their standards of living and partnered with KCCA to improve the main road in Bakuli. The community in appreciation named the lane after the school. I was honored to win the Global CEO award as the most influential in Education in East Africa and Uganda. I recently returned from Geneva where I won a Bronze Award at the World Investment Forum that reviewed my Innovation, Leadership and Impact on Community.