From Dream to Reality, Building a Successful Business.

Moses, with the mandazi he bakes and sells with his wife and son.

When Moses and his wife Fidah joined the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in their village, they would save UGX 2500 each week. In less than a year, with their bakery business doing well, they now save UGX 16,000 in their respective VSLAs weekly. 

Living in Bugambo, a last-mile village in Luuka, Moses would fish from the local lake while his wife and son Enos practiced subsistence farming to provide for their household. “I’d have to be away from my family while fishing, and the income wasn’t much,” said Moses. Lack of consistent income and low savings also meant Enos couldn’t complete his education. Eager to improve, provide a better living for the family, and ensure their grandchildren didn’t face the same fate, Moses and Fidah wanted to start a business of their own. “I wanted to start a bakery but didn’t know how to bake, and neither did we have the funds,” said Fidah. When their community partnered with RTV to sustainably improve household incomes and address barriers to development, Moses and Fidha enrolled in a men’s and women’s VSLA, respectively. They attended training on financial literacy and started saving small amounts each week.

Moses making mandazi

With access to affordable credit, they realized that starting their own business was no longer a distant dream. Fidah borrowed UGX 300,000 from her VSLA and bought the basic equipment and input materials, including tarpaulin, for a makeshift workshop and pans. Enos traveled to the neighboring village to work at an already established bakery and learn the tricks of the trade. Buoyed by capital from their VSLA and the knowledge that Enos brought back with him, they started making and selling mandazi, a type of fried bread in good demand in their community. They began by producing 60 bundles of mandzai each day. With each containing 12 pieces of the fried bread, a bundle would go for UGX 5000. As they gained customers and increased demand, they paid back the loan in three months and started ramping up production. They now bake 1200 bundles a week, earning a profit of UGX 1,200,000.

Moses with his son Enos and wife Fidah

Each day, Enos loads up his motorcycle-driven cart and supplies mandazi to direct consumers, school canteens, and local shops in Luuka, Kaliiro, and Kamuli Districts. He also sources the bakery’s supplies and manages newly hired workers who support Moses and Fidah in the baking and packaging. The impact on the family has been significant. “The business helped us expand our home and have a consistent income. We started small and now employ 10 workers to help us meet the demand,” says Enos. 

Building on their successes, Fidah and Moses plan to expand their business to meet the ever-growing demand. “I believe our business will grow bigger. We plan to build a bigger house and expand the business,” Fidah excitedly shared about their future plans. 

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Raising The Village (RTV) partners with last-mile, rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and develops holistic initiatives that pave the pathway out of ultra-poverty towards economic self-sufficiency within 24 months. Our programs focus on improving agricultural incomes through training and providing agricultural inputs, diversifying income streams, removing barriers to participation such as lack of access to health, water, financial inclusion, and food security, and promoting healthy behaviors including adopting healthy WASH and gender equity practices. Since 2016, we have impacted the lives of more than 665,000 people in last-mile villages in Uganda and increased household incomes and earnings by 138% in 24 months.