Well if you didn’t know already, Uganda is probably the most entrepreneurial nation in the world! Uganda is an East African country surrounded by: Kenya, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. The country has dealt with a lot of major internal conflict after gaining independence in 1962 from the United Kingdom. Uganda is a diverse nation with 56 tribes, and home to a part of the Lake Victoria. It has many untapped crude oil but, the biggest export in the country is coffee.
Uganda has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in Africa. More than 600,000 jobs would have to be created yearly to keep up with the employment rate. It is also termed as one of the poorest nations in the world. This is why many are surprised that Uganda is ranked high in the entrepreneurship report.
But the picture of entrepreneur-ism is much different in Uganda. Technology based innovation is rather absent in this nation. Most of the entrepreneurs focus on providing: tailoring services, hair-styling, retail businesses, and transportation. And more than 400,000 Ugandans are motorcycle taxi drivers.
What pushes Ugandans into embracing this entrepreneurial spirit, you may ask? Necessity, I must say is a key factor. The need to provide and survive. The job market isn’t good or large enough to provide jobs yearly for the graduates. Many young entrepreneurs around the world fear the risk of their business failing. The entrepreneurs in Uganda have everything to lose if they don’t take that risk of pushing into a new business.
Unfortunately, there’s another side to this story: many entrepreneurs in Uganda don’t have some level of financial literacy. They lack high expectation for growth or making a business sustainable. Some lack the cash flow. Hence, they don’t expand and this is why there is also a high rate of discontinued businesses yearly.
We live in a world with growing internet connectivity however. You can stay in your home for 6 months and master any skill. With this also you can access the global market more easily; you can take your business digital and some platforms like “shopify” let you do these! To sum this up. Learn from the Ugandans. With advantage from the internet, what stops you – young African with an idea – from trying out a new digital business?