Nineteen ladies from our Jinja group graduated from their business class in early February 2013. Each lady received a certificate of completion at the recognition ceremony. It represented a year of hard work learning what it means to be a good successful business women. There were 8 to 10 days of intensive class training by Michele B., our U.S. volunteer business trainer; plus two 2-hour class sessions held weekly and on site visits by our Ugandan business trainer; and monthly skype sessions with Michele. It all added up to success for these happy graduates!
Our Jinja ladies cite this class as being the catalyst that changed them from being fearful of starting a business to becoming confident in their skills so that they can know how to operate their businesses and earn additional income for their families. Almost every graduate interviewed, mentioned that the single biggest thing they learned was how to calculate and separate their profit from their capital investment, and then have the willpower to not touch the capital part of their money.
Adoch Betty proudly explained, “I was taught how to convince customers to buy my things and to talk in a good language to them.” Adoch pointed out that the starting point for her business learning was the English class in 2011 that was taught by ClaireMarie and other U.S. volunteers. She fondly remembered how she had to go to the nearby Jinja supermarket and transact business there in English as part of her English training.
Other graduates were also eager to share what key things they learned that enabled them to be successful with their businesses:
- Akello Florence – “I put everything in records so I can determine my profit. I used to keep no records!”
- Esther Lamunu – “I used to spend all my money. Now I know to keep savings.”
- Joyce Ocitti – “I know how to make budgets. I’ll never remove all my money from the business, even if some problem comes up abruptly.”
- Betty Oweka – “[Before this class], I didn’t know what I was doing with my business and it collapsed. Now I am going step by step. Yes, I can even speak English when necessary.”
- Ida Okello – “I know to budget and keep my capital even in the low season.”
- Latigo Christine – “If you have a business, you should have a goal to do something big and important in your life in the future.”
- Jaganda Gloria – “I learned we have to be strong hearted and confident in what we are going to do. You must be friendly.”
Congratulations to these graduates on their dedication to learning, and to applying what they have learned to their businesses and their lives!