Mid-Term Review

Masaka is a town that lies west to Lake Victoria and near the equator, about 130km away from Kampala. This is where Team Uganda went for our three day mid-term review last weekend, an opportunity for the volunteers to reflect on their experience so far, review their progress and have a break from chaotic Kampala.

Nana Anna Bus
Team Leader Nana Anna was keen to get behind the wheel.

On the Friday, each pair was asked to present, introducing their business, detailing the actions completed so far and describing their next steps. It was also a valuable opportunity to take questions and receive feedback from other volunteers, the team leaders and country manager.

It was a fantastic opportunity for us to learn some more about each other’s businesses and this week, each blogger will summarise what some of the volunteer pairs have been up to over the past four weeks.

Attentive listeners.
Attentive listeners.

Kate and Cathy: Winkal Group Limited

Kate and Cathy are working with a lady who runs Winkal Group Limited, a small wine making business based in Kira. The company was officially founded in 2014. Previously, the business owner had been making wine as a side-project, but the product was so popular that she decided to operate the business on a full-time basis.

The company produces two types of wine: a sweet, red made from hibiscus and beetroot and a white made from bananas.

Red, red wine.
Red, red wine.

The company also produces juice which is mainly sold in hospitals for malnourished children. The business is supplied by organic farmers and the labourers are all single mothers – this contributes to the company’s social objectives of supporting local farmers and vulnerable women in the community.

Project Tasks Completed:
– Created a simple book-keeping system.

– Performed industry and market research, although a major challenge was the general lack of information on the industry and market in Uganda (turns out that Google doesn’t always have the answer!)

– Competitor research and analysis.

– Draft business and marketing plan written.

– Social media platform set up, now teaching the business owner how to use it.

Project Next Steps:

– Review recording systems put in place to make sure they are being used correctly.

– Create an ongoing development plan.

– Set-up a WordPress page for the company if there is enough time.

Sheila and Jess: Mpwabe Investment Limited

Sheila and Jess are working with Mpwabe Investment Limited which processes, packs and distributes Goodchef curry powder to low income rural and urban areas within and outside Kampala. They currently distribute the powder in 100g sachets, but it was suggested that they vary package sizes.

Full of flavour.
Full of flavour.

They are a very small business at the moment, with less than 1% of the market share. The company has two full time members of staff, and two part time members of staff, all male.

Project Tasks Completed:
– Market research conducted for marketing plan, which involved interviewing members of the local population. They found that one of the major considerations was trust in the product and company, and therefore good branding and advertising must be a high priority.

– Although the business already has a marketing plan, they have written a budget marketing strategy in case the marketing budget needs to be tightened.

– Have started writing the business plan, including the vision, marketing and financing sections.

Project Next Steps:
– Creating a financial contingency plan.

– Creating a break-even analysis for a new product that the company wants to launch.

– Completing the business plan.

Sheila hard at word in the office!
Sheila hard at word in the office!

In the following blog posts, my wonderful fellow bloggers will present a summary of how the other volunteers have been getting on in their businesses.

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