Ugandan Housemaid Goes From No Skills to Savvy Entrepreneur
When Grace arrived in Danida Masese, just a 15 minute drive away from the town of Jinja, she had NO SKILLS, NO JOB, and A FAMILY TO SUPPORT.
Her first instinct was to seek odd labor jobs around the community, seeing if anyone would be willing to hire her. Because she had no professional background or education, she was forced to take whatever jobs she could at whatever rate her employers were willing to pay her.
That led to Grace taking a job as housemaid, working long hours away from her children and receiving little pay. Yes, it was better than not having a job at all, because without it her family would starve…but it still wasn’t adequate enough to cover the needs of her family.
She needed something that would help her escape poverty.
As Grace continued to work hard as a housemaid, she also made sure to keep connecting with new people and build relationships within the community.
Because of her persistence in looking for opportunities that would help her generate more income, she eventually met up with a women’s group in town that, like her, were working on developing themselves so they could obtain financial stability.
This group introduced her to a Business-Development Program where she learned she could enroll and be educated in some Core Business Principles, quickly Develop a Craft in Producing Handmade Goods, and then learn How & Where to Sell her Products.
Grace did what she had to do, pulling together resources so she could make the small investment it took to enroll into this program, the Beading Project, as it was more formally called.
Once she covered all her material costs the other ladies who were more experienced in beading jewelry helped mentor Grace until she had a collection of quality products ready to bring to market.
Grace expected to sell her handcrafted jewelry in the local markets in Jinja, and possibly even going door to door selling. But she found out that there was zero potential to make a sustainable living that way.
Now that Grace had her own business, she had to think and behave like an Entrepreneur.
See How Female Business Owner in Uganda Doubles Income in Under a Year
Grace learned that if she was going to sustain the needs of her family, and be able to put all 5 children in school, she would need to reach a much larger audience AND one that had the means to buy her quality products.
Grace discovered that taking her business online was the only way to do that while still living in an impoverished area of Uganda.
The easiest way for Grace to do that with her limited means was by forming Direct-Trade partnerships with organizations who could help connect her product to the Global Marketplace online, and sell her products for double and even triple the amount she could sell at locally.
It was a year ago that Grace first enrolled into the Women’s Beading Program and officially became a Direct Trade Bead Partner of Wando International.
Since then she has continued to consistently produce quality handmade jewelry made from recycled materials. She’s always looking for ways to IMPROVE HER SKILLS and GROW HER BUSINESS.
After making her products available in Wando International’s online store, Grace’s INCOME DOUBLED what it was working as a local housemaid accomplished in a fraction of the time.
Grace can even operate her business from the comfort of her home watching over the kids OR beside her community of other women entrepreneurs in Uganda all encouraging one another AND developing in Business Skills & Strategies, learning to Leveraging Today’s Tools to effectively lift themselves out of poverty.
To learn more about how wearing Ugandan jewelry TRANSFORMS THE LIVES of women like GRACE, visit our Handmade Jewelry page!