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At 23 years old, while working as a Standards Inspector with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Gloria Arinaitwe was inspired to start a bottled millet beverage company – AEN Uganda Ltd. After investing in Research and Development, Gloria launched her business. Today, four years later, she owns the land on which her factory sits, sources her raw materials from 200 millet farmers (mostly women), employs a full time staff of eight and produces 25,000 litres of bottled millet porridge a week under the Pistis brand. Gloria hopes to double production after completing factory construction next year.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- How Gloria’s jobs as Standards Officer and Standards Inspector opened her eyes to entrepreneurial
- Why she decided to start a business after her first contract with UNBS ended.
- The reasons behind her switch from tea packaging to processing millet porridge.
- Seizing the opportunity to apply to the Makerere University Incubation Centre even though she did not have the required $120 incubation fee.
- Learning how to pasteurize, preserve and package millet porridge to meet UNBS standards while at the Incubation Centre.
- Blocking out the discouraging voices that made fun of her “cultural drink”.
- Funding the purchase of land and beginning factory construction by winning an agri-business challenge.
- Gloria’s dream: To complete the construction of her factory next year and double production capacity.
- Her work as Secretary in the African Women in Agri-business Network (AWAN), Uganda Chapter.
- Time management as the key to finding work/life balance.
- Inspiring words: Have a vision and make it a big one, then work at it with all your might! You get what you are prepared for.
African Women in Agri-business Network Uganda (AWAN-UG): www.awanuganda.com
Makerere University Incubation Centre: http://ftbic.mak.ac.ug/
Uganda National Bureau of Standards: https://www.unbs.go.ug/
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