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Training women to start small businesses

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Over the past month, Rita Mijumbi, the Director of Uganda Development Services, has been training women to empower themselves through starting their own small businesses.

In 2017, UDS offered some training in IT skills to women and girls at their Kamuli Business Centre. In Uganda there is a clear 'digital gender divide', since women rarely have access to the technological skills that are becoming crucial for economic development. The workshops cover multiple forms of computer technology, including social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp, as well as mobile banking. It was the first time these women had worked with technology, and with their new skills they were keen to begin their own income generating projects. So this year, the emphasis was on giving them the skills to make business plans and become small entrepreneurs.

Alongside the training, the women have access to a small fund for start-up loans, meaning they can begin as soon as they have put together a workable plan. During the workshops, the participants wrote plans and presented them to each other for feedback. The best plans were the first to receive funding.

All the women come from rural areas, so they plan to start small projects in their villages with local customers, to solve the problem of having to go to town to buy necessities. Encouraged by UDS, these women are breaking new ground and we hope to hear a lot more in the future about their successes.

The seed funding for the project came from UDS supporters in the UK. If you would like to support more women like this, please get in touch.

The Ugandan Development Services Kamuli Business Centre provides a library, internet and printing service and IT training for the general public. It is a popular centre which aims to promote literacy and education and was the first of its kind to begin operating in Kamuli. It has effectively trained the whole town, and early clients of UDS are now their competitors, offering similar services! Nevertheless, UDS retains its unique place in the town, staying true to its motto of 'sharing knowledge, building lives'.

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