“The wise walk book club challenged me and contributed to the world I wanted” – Patricia Humura

In February 2019, I intentionally started my journey to invest in a business. I was inspired by so many people and incidents, although a book club I belonged to titled the “Wise Walk” played a greater part by challenging me to model something and contribute to the world.

After carefully conducting a business screening study, I noticed that my business was more opportunity oriented especially on the trend and season than needs-oriented. Most of my customers who are women loved African Fabric for events or parties. I started small with 10 African Fabrics which I sold and by the end of the year, they had grown to more than 40. With time, “Woman’s Pride” (my business was expanding). I started investing in accessories such as earrings and head wraps. My business is steadily growing, and I am committed to seeing it in the realm of the millennial business world.

Between the ages of eight and nine years old, I was introduced to baking “Mandazi” also known as the Swahili Bun or Swahili Coconut Doughnut which we used for home consumption. My mother was actively involved in baking since she used to supply these and deep-fried Irish potatoes to secondary schools. With time, she made Irish crisps, deep-fried chapati, and sometimes chips. I remember students preferred deep-fried chapatis and she wholly invested in them.

Alongside that, she also sold shoes and stockings since they were trending on the market especially during holidays or weekends. In all these seasons, she did not leave her bakery business.

On many occasions, I went along with her and during holidays, I would also bake. In fact, after high school, I baked crisps which I sold to schools and worked for the Catholic diocese mobile money shop where I obtained some capital to invest in my crisps business. While at university, due to the schedule of my course, I was unable to carry on with the business. Besides that, I think I was not intentional because I saw very many students doing business such as selling shoes, clothes, bananas, Irish especially those who conducted farming, popcorns, mobile money among others.

Today, I have had an opportunity to attend business clinic coaching sessions by Dr. Eunice Adubango a professional civil engineer and founder, Eunice’s Kitchen. With the knowledge obtained, information acquired and my experience in business, I would like to share a few tips with you.

Just like any other profession, Growth in Business requires Discipline. It requires planning and preparation by identifying your business type, describing it, and setting it up. Business needs you to identify your customer and speak their language.

If you speak about your customer’s language, you will be able to provide what they need. More so, while developing your business idea, you need to identify its ability to grow without being hampered by different changes such as weather, competition, location among others. You can also weigh through to identify whether there are resources to start it, or whether it is a government priority, or whether it can be supported by the banks or different companies.

Borrowing from my experience and learning from my mom, you have to ask yourself questions like what skillset are you bringing on board? What is the competition like and how is your business brand? I remember my mom made deep-fried chapati and students loved them so much.

With time so many people started baking them for sale. Although the chapatis she baked consisted of many ingredients, her dough was different from the rest; this set her apart and kept her business strong. It further requires you to sacrifice and stay committed. Still, I will refer to her business.

She used to wake up at 5:00 am to prepare the dough so that schools can have the snacks at 8:00 am for breakfast. In the evenings, she would bake around 3:00 pm so that the students can have fresh snacks for evening tea at 5:00 pm. More to that, you must keep yourself informed about what is trending on the market. I remember what encouraged her to sell shoes and stockings was their high demand during holidays. Similarly, I started selling accessories and headwraps because I noticed they were trending on the market.

I have further learnt that you have to identify a business you find easy to implement. You have to understand why you need to conduct the business and put your best foot forward. My business tagline is “Do not be afraid to make large amounts of money in business.”

It has pushed me to be aggressive, make a financial management plan and I am on a journey to improve my business communication plan. It has further kept me on top, to make sales because the more I sell, the more I get profits and stock the business. As I wait to hear from you, do you find having a business important? And if you have a business, what is your business lesson thus far?

Writer: Patricia Humura, Feminist, human rights advocate

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Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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