Rising Woman top five winners share experiences and business plans  


Rhodah Nassanga Nakate, Founder, WEYEClean Energy Company Limited

WEYE stands for Waste to Energy Youth Enterprise. It equips youth with practical and entrepreneurial skills in waste management, clean energy production and smart agriculture.

For sustainability, WEYE clean Energy Company limited is a registered company that produces and supplies fuel briquettes, constructs stoves customised for briquettes and provide consultation and training services.

Located in Namugongo, the business that was launched in 2018, produces and supply eco-friendly briquettes made from municipal bio degradable and agro waste.

“We supply stoves for big institutions such as schools, prisons which use briquettes and preserve heat for long. We also train and offer consultancy services in smart agriculture, fish farming, and briquette production,”Nakate says.

“I won a fully paid business trip and a certificate of excellence. The Rising Woman Initiative gave me business exposure and new connections. The panel at the pitch session was interactive and engaging. I particularly liked the organisation of the competition but wished participants had some more opportunities to engage in during the competition.”

Nakate looks forward to outsourcing raw materials by training the identified communities facing waste management challenges to make biochar that they can purchase to manufacture more briquettes.

Eunice Ephrance Namugenyi, Founder, Kuzimba Services

Kuzimba Services brings affordable building materials and access to saving schemes to communities throughout Uganda for better housing and easier access to building materials and construction services.

By delivering high-quality construction materials at an affordable price on our online platform, Kuzimba Services capitalises on untapped self-builder market. By harnessing innovations in construction technology and finance, the company has streamlined the self-build process.

At the core, Kuzimba has on-site production of a green construction material, Kuzimba eco-brick (compressed earth bricks) rammed earth construction and community organisation.

Since Kuzimba homes are made from earth and other materials, construction waste and pollution are miniminised.

“One of our unique selling factors is real-time online application that boosts sustainable community development through social inclusion, infrastructure development, income generation and market for professionals, a saving wallet for future construction and transport deliveries,” Namugenyi says.

“The Rising Woman initiative was a great learning experience for me. I won an all expenses paid study trip. We intend to improve and build a mobile app, expand production facilities, processes, and machinery and explore investment opportunities.” Kuzimba Services also plan to build a skilling centre, increase production of our flagship product with better multipurpose machinery– Kuzimba Eco Brick and take on more community projects. The business is located in Mabirizi Complex in Kampala.

Irene Lydia Mubeezi, Founder East Star Healthy Products

Mubeezi started out with capital of Shs50,000 in 2019.

“I was making only avacatin tea powder, but later customers demanded for other products such as okra powder, local yam porridge and many others. We also produce vegetable fruit porridge, multi-purpose porridge, world palm seed powder, excellent porridge and others,” she says.

From the Rising Woman initiative, Mubeezi won a fully sponsored business study tour. Aside from the trip, she learnt more about record-keeping.

“The pitching process gave me confidence to sell my product. I also learnt that I should not use my bank account to carryout business transactions, but rather have two separate accounts, one for the business and the other for personal use,” she adds.

“Seeing my business grow into a big enterprise and mentoring women in business is a rewarding experience.”

With the range of products that she produces, Mubeezi targets the elderly people with diabetes and hypertension. East Star Healthy Products is located in Jinja district, Budondo Sub-county.

Hellen Birungi, Founder Hebs Organic Limited

“We do research, development and manufacture of herbal medicines and cosmetics to solve the healthy problems of the community using natural products,” Birungi says.

“Our goal is to employ 200 youth by 2025.”

The Mbarara-based company was founded by Hellen Birungi and Brendah Ainemukama, pharmaceutical scientists at Mbarara University of Science and Technology after witnessing various skin infections.

 When Birungi joined university, she teamed up with a friend to find a solution to this problem that seemed spread across the continent.

“We manufactured our first samples in November 2021. We started with small batches of 10 to 50 tins per batch in the Mbarara University of Science and Technology Pharmaceutical, Research and Analytical Laboratory. We joined the Centre for Innovations and Technology Transfer in June, 2022 that trained us in scientific writing. This workshop facilitated me to put my idea into writing and formulate a business plan,”Birungi says.

“I was able to define and plan my journey as a young entrepreneur. We have since participated in entrepreneurship trainings that include Start Hub Academy, Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Training, and Academy for Women Entrepreneurs.  Now we are incubatees of Women in Business.”

With all the trainings attended, the duo have improved the quality and appearance of their product.

“We started with 20g plastic tins, which have been changed to 10g glass tins. We are able to produce a minimum of 1000 tins and sell them in a month. We carryout quality control tests on our products from Uganda Research Institute, such as microbial and heavy metal tests,” she says.

Hebs Organic Limited is registered with Uganda Registration and Service Bureau and was granted the Uganda National Bureau  of Standards q-mark.

“We have one (HEB Classic lip balm) product approved by UNBS and other two (lip gloss and herbal nail polish remover) under the process of approval. We have 10 employees and aim to increase our staff by 2023. I won Shs10million and an all-expense paid trip,” Birungi adds.

 The competition happened during her final year at university and it was challenging.

“When I got a call from my friend, I did not want to lose the opportunity. I reworked my business proposal and submitted it. After some months, I went for pitching session during my end of my final semester examinations. I am happy I made it to the top three participants. This programme has harnessed my business skills and enabled me to think big and know that women have potential to become economically independent,” she says.

The business’ future plans include growing into the best cosmetic company in the country.

 “We plan to be the leading producers of quality products. We plan to construct an industry and have a team of 200 hundred employees by 2025. We plan to establish a botanical garden that contains herbs that are essential for health and treating diseases.”

Ibembe Anthea, Founder APA Profiling

APA Profiling is a women led light manufacturing enterprise located in Kireka Kampala which started in 2011.

“Our range of 12 tea flavours is offered in four varieties of packaging. We are best known for our flagship product; Kisubi tea, but we also boast of other flavours such as vanilla, mint, lemon, eucalyptus, masala, detox, hibiscus, caramel, cinnamon and green tea,”Ibembe says.

The latest addition is farm fresh cinnamon and lemon grass leaves. 

“I won Shs10 million, an all-expenses paid business study trip but most importantly, I sharpened my pitching and proposal -writing skills. From the Rising Woman initiative, I was able to examine my business needs and identify solutions. I plan to implement in the coming year,” she says, adding that she was empowered and supported by the team and got a chance to network with women in agribusiness.

“We started a whatsapp community to engage, exchange business ideas, generate value and create synergies. Our future plans include growing and distilling all the spices we flavour our tea with from Kamuli District. We hope to set up model spice farms in order to wean the business from outsourcing and cut input costs,” she says.

 This will ensure profitability and increase our community impact by transforming eastern region farmers to move from sugarcane growing to spice farming, which has a ready market.

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