A successful portfolio entrepreneur from Uganda
I learned how to overcome challenges. If your business collapses, you must start anew. Think what the problem was, what made the business collapse, then start anew. You can use the people around you to get starting capital. You don’t have to go to banks, people can supply you. It was helpful that we learned how to approach people.
Janet was typical of many students in Uganda. Before the training, she had not been involved in any entrepreneurial ventures, and she had not attended any prior entrepreneurship courses. Janet knew that the job market conditions were poor for her even with a university degree, but she did not consider becoming an entrepreneur as an attractive and feasible career option for her. She was afraid of the challenges entrepreneurs face. According to her report, starting and running a business in the training was a “totally new experience”. The experience that it is possible to overcome the challenges of entrepreneurship and to successfully operate a business “opened her eyes”, as she said. Janet elaborated that the training was a turning point in her life, which changed her belief that entrepreneurship is an insurmountable series of tasks. She also explained that she learned to reflect after failures, learned from errors, and that she learned to start anew despite of unfavorable circumstances. She developed a “never-give-up” attitude and learned to use errors and failures as a valuable source of feedback. After the training, Janet started a poultry farm and managed to supply retail shops and hotels in Uganda’s capital city Kampala with eggs and chickens. One year after the training, she employed five full-time employees. The poultry farm was located in a village some hours away from Kampala, where she lived with her husband. Commuting between the village and Kampala was demanding. She decided to sell the farm and start an event management business, which she successfully set up 18 months after the training.
Janet closed the event management business 24 months after the training and, instead, launched an information technology consultancy that developed computer software, designed webpages for companies and private persons, and installed networks for offices and homes. Janet had started the information technology consultancy because of her university education in computer science. It is interesting to observe that she had started with a business of low complexity, and over the years, she created a business in her field of study. When we met Jane again around four years after the training, she informed us that she still owned the information technology consultancy. Furthermore, she had started an additional business – one of the few ice cream parlors that you can find in the city center of Kampala. Through STEP, Janet has formed and pursued different entrepreneurial goals; she has changed from a non-entrepreneurial student to a successful portfolio entrepreneur starting and managing several businesses at the same time.
+49 4134 9099726
+49 4134 9099726