After staying at home for many years, Aisha Nakatudde, 27, decided to establish a start-up of supplying tea to corporates in offices at Pension Towers in Nakasero Kampala and people working at construction sites. While she started with capital worth Shs150,000, over time, her business has grown. During the Rising Woman training in Jinja City, she met other entreprenuers to exhange ideas.
How did you get to know about Rising Woman?
Through a friend, an engineer, who happened to be one of my clients at Pension Tower in Nakasero. He gave me a copy of Daily Monitor, drew my attention to the Rising Woman advert and insisted that I apply. I contacted Peter Okwir from Daily Monitor, who requested me to attend the last training in Jinja last week.
We were equipped with techniques of how to operate small business to ensure profitability. I had basic knowledge about how to run a business but facilitators opened our eyes to several business concepts and how to stay afloat even amidst business challenges. We exchanged knowledge and acquired some business skills from other businesswomen.
What business were you doing before you selling tea?
Initially, I was a stay-at-home mother. But a friend tipped me about starting a small business by supplying tea to corporates in offices. We spent time discussing the business idea and how we would execute it. I used Shs150,000 as a start-up capital to purchase flasks, cups among other items.
Do you prepare tea at the site or from home? How many litres of milk do you prepare daily?
I prepare tea from home and pack in flasks and bring them to the site. I wake up at 3am, light the charcoal stove and start preparing tea. Once the work is done, I board a taxi with my supplies and ensure that by 8am, I am at the station ready to serve my clients. On days when there is gridlock traffic, I use boda bodas to be on time. I prepare eight litres of every day milk.
Do you have competitors in the same construction site and offices?
Not at the moment. I am the only lady supplying tea in those sites.
What is the highlight of your business so far? Any areas you need to improve on?
What I supply daily is all consumed by customers and they pay me promptly. There are those who pay daily and others weekly. I get money that keeps the business running and leave some for saving.
The only big challenge so far are high prices of commodities that make sustaining a business nerve-wrecking. I buy a litre of milk at Shs1, 500 and sell a cup at Shs2,000. Following the high commodity prices and soaring transport costs, I had a meeting with my clients and agreed to increase the cost by a small percentage.
Daily Monitor, the flagship of Rising Woman in partnership with DFCU Bank and Uganda Investment Authority is in a campaign to boost women entrepreneurs. Are you going to participate in it?
I travelled to Jinja to attend the training to acquire skills and knowledge in business management. I am finalising my business proposal and I plan to submit it before the due date. I am working towards making it to the best top three. I want to win that cash.
What message do you have for women entrepreneur?
I urge women to attend trainings and aggressively look out for opportunities designed for empowering and enriching them.
Be pragmatic about improving your life as a woman, learn a skill that you will take you to another level. Start a business even when you have meagre resources and be determined to see it grow. This is the only way we can become financially independent.
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