Persistence, grit, and determination, are just a few of the words that describe how Nabirye Sarah has grown her food business in rural Uganda. Starting with a very small amount of money, less than about $15. U.S. dollars, Sarah bought rice, posho, cassava, and beans, and cooked a midday meal that she would sell in the village trading post. With the profits, she was then able to add matoke (made from plantains), and some meat to her offerings. Little by little more people started buying Sarah’s food.
As a budding entrepreneur Sarah knew she could sell more, and grow her business, if she had more capital. She went to our Women’s Group and applied for a loan of 200,00 shillings, which is about $55. With this money she was able to buy more food to sell. Sarah’s stand is very popular at the trading center, and as we saw on one of our recent visits, she has regular customers who stop by and buy their lunch each day. Sarah added a small eating area for her customers where they can sit in the shade and enjoy their food.
The profits from Sarah’s business have allowed her to pay back the business loan. Most importantly, Sarah is now able to afford school fees for her four children. She feels that her family is currently in a good situation because of her business.
Sarah’s future plans are to perhaps get another loan from the Women’s Group to add space in her stand and also renovate her cafe space so it looks better for her customers. Sarah owns the space she sells from so any additional investment will add value.
Sarah is now an experienced business woman and when she attends the Women’s Group meetings she gives advice to others who want to get a loan and start their own business. Her best advice, “start with a little, see what people want, and then grow when you have the money.”
Our partnership with the Women’s Group has helped support the children in the community in a way that is sustainable and empowering for families.