To some this sheet laid with buckets of coal may not look like much, but for one entrepreneurial lady this is her small success story.
If you drive just outside the centre of Mukono town, down the main road, you will notice that not much is going on. There is the occasional shop or farm, but there is not much else to see; however, there is quite a bit more to smell. You can smell the rolexes and other foods being cooked by nearby families or small businesses. You realise that they are using coal to BBQ their meat and heat the stovetops.
Along the narrow road that runs from Mukono, you can see Namusisi Annet’s small business, located right next to the Nabukalu Co-operative Savings & Credit Society (NCSCS). Here Annet has held her business, setting up every day, metres away from the SACCO she is a member of and who helped her grow her business to five times the size.
Left: Namusisi Annet
Right: Annet & Kasirye Sarah, NCSCS Manager, where Annet works.
It may still look small scale, but Annet was once selling one sack of coal a day, using the money to care for her seven children. However, after becoming a member of the Nabukalu SACCO and getting a small loan to develop her business she has grown to selling five sacks of coal, which has greatly improved her ability to pay her children’s school fees and care for her family. It may sound small, but for Annet it was a 500% increase in business capacity and income.
Running and owning her own business has also given Annet a sense of autonomy and authority, allowing her to earn her own money. Her husband also contributes to the family income by working as a transporter and is also a member of the Nabukalu SACCO. With Annet being able to contribute to the family income their large family’s support is increased.
Success for Annet has been defined by running and developing her own business, seeing the business grow, and being able to pay her children’s school fees. She says that it is thanks to her local SACCO, NCSCS, a Uganda Central Cooperative Financial Services (UCCFS) member, that she has been able to improve her business productivity and pay the school fees for her children.
By joining her local SACCO Annet’s good fortunes also invest in her community’s future, as well as her families. She is helping lay the ground for a stronger Mukono, and is setting a great principle for female entrepreneurship at every level.
Success comes in every size and shape; Annet’s story is just one of the many that may not make the news, but her story is no less important in the greater Uganda Co-operative Movement. She and many others that are benefiting from the cooperative model are the reason UCCFS is so driven to provide support to SACCOs in the way of savings, loans and policy models, because we know when we help a cooperative grow and succeed we are ultimately helping people succeed.