Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza, Chairperson Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited has called upon all women entrepreneurs to lay strategy on how they too can benefit from multi-billion government projects.
Speaking at a forum organized by Uganda Global Business Association that brought together leading women entrepreneurs for a dialogue on how they could contribute to the country’s economic growth, Gudula urged women to start thinking beyond what they perceive to be their capacity. “You should not consider yourself to be doing business until you are dealing with the biggest consumer in the land and that is the government,” she advised.
She pointed out the Lake Albert Oil and Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) network, two looming government projects that will give moneymaking opportunities to business people in the country and encouraged women to find ways of being part of them. “You could be the supplier of water, or stationary whatever it is you decide I am sure the amount of money you make will change your life forever,” she added.
She further advised them to equip themselves with knowledge about government projects so that they are able to angle their businesses to sectors with the biggest budgets because that is where the big pay offs are.
Lillian Busingye the managing director Buffalo Leathers, too, urged women to register their businesses formally in order to be able to benefit from such big projects. “You cannot trade with government or other big companies unless you are formally registered and you pay taxes. Most of us women fear that when we register with URA, we will expose our wealth and government will want to take it which is a limiting and wrong attitude,” Busingye said.
“By nature women embody all the characteristics that make successful entrepreneurs; the ability to give birth to an idea and nurture it to growth at all costs. As mothers we also groom the people that run nations, this alone is a major contribution if we do our job right,” noted Moona Kwehangana , the managing director Market Tales Ltd. She further advised women to study market trends and produce products to suit those demands. “A successful business is one that solves a problem. If your business does not do this then you are wasting your time and money,” she remarked.
Betty Kimbugwe of CMM Auto noted that one of the challenges women entrepreneurs face like lack information can be solved by creating networks which most women tend to ignore. “There is certain competitiveness between women in business, they think if they give you information you will be more successful than them,” she added. Drawing from her own experience, Kimbugwe related how a fellow businesswoman once connected her to potential thieves in the UAE. She explained the need for women helping each other adding that business cannot be done in a vacuum; one needs other people to succeed.