Alice is a member of the Busia Women Cross Border Traders Cooperative Society Ltd., Uganda (BWCBTCS). She is the Fruits Cluster Leader.
After Alice completed high school, she had hoped to go to a tertiary institution. Year after year, she hoped her parents would raise the required funds but alas, her education dream was not to be. A couple of years after she left high school, Alice started buying and selling fruits in Uganda’s border town of Busia. Thus began her life as a cross border trader.
Alice trades primarily in fruits (watermelon, passion fruits and oranges) that she sources from all over Eastern Uganda and sells to traders from Kenya.
Challenges: Alice’s biggest challenge is credit customers who either refuse to take delivery of the perishable goods she sources at their request, or who take the goods and pay her at their leisure. Trade at the Uganda / Kenya Busia border is still conducted on the basis of oral agreements. Binding legal contracts have not yet come into serious play.
Benefits From the GIZ-Funded Cooperatives Accelerator: While participating in the recently completed GIZ-Funded Women Cross Border Traders’ Accelerator, Alice learned how it important it is to keep records. Previously, as long as she sold a product for more than she paid for it, she assumed she was making a profit. Alice also came to appreciate the value of working in a cluster. Since she began participating in collective trading activities in her cooperative, her transaction costs have gone down.
Dreams: Alice dreams of becoming a large scale exporter and hopes to own a large storehouse at the border one day.