WE4A and WIDU celebrate female entrepreneurs
On March 31st, WIDU Kenya and WE4A organized in Nairobi a commemoration of International Women’s Day under the DigitAll theme. The event aimed to celebrate the achievements of female entrepreneurs who have successfully launched and scaled their businesses and to find possible avenues of digitizing their businesses.
Key facts and Figures about WE4A
Women entrepreneurship for Africa is an EU, OACPS and BMZ funded program, that seeks to provide 120 female entrepreneurs from the TEF alumni network, with access to €10.000 in grant funding that will be paired with 3 months of technical support through a virtual acceleration program. Additional grant funding up to €50.000 in conjunction with a growth program will be provided to 15 enterprises selected by an expert panel as having the most high-growth potential.
Joan Nalubega of Uganics
Joan grew up in an orphanage in rural Uganda, poor and constantly sick with Malaria. According to her, she was fortunate to find supporters who gave her a steppingstone: an orphanage supported her through primary school education, after which a German NGO sponsored her secondary education. She, however, could not go on to university because it wasn’t affordable but eventually got a scholarship into an innovation academy.
Going through the innovation academy birthed the business idea which is now known as Uganics. “I had found meaning in my own suffering and I desired to create a Malaria free world. I decided to create Uganics; a soap manufacturing company where we create organic hygiene bars that help prevent malaria.” Joan said.
The core mission of Uganics, which has benefitted from the support of Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A), is to incorporate a mosquito repellent product into everyday use for the most vulnerable members of various communities. They believe that malaria protection must be safe, affordable, and accessible to everyone without needing any form of behavioral changes.
The unique selling point for Uganics is that that they sell organic mosquito repellent products with high margins to resorts, lodges and high-end hotels and tourists looking for a natural way of preventing mosquito bites during their trips.
Uganics’ target markets are usually mothers with children below five years in rural communities. They also currently work with 28 hospitals in three districts of Mpigi, Hoima, and Soroti in Uganda.
They officially started production over a year ago and have since increased their production capacity to 30,000 bars of soap monthly from the 5,000 bars they were previously producing.
Joan is able to cross finance and subsidize sales to rural mothers at the same price as ordinary soap. The impact is leveraging an everyday consumer product to fight malaria. Mothers can protect themselves and their children against one of the biggest killers in Uganda.