From 20 to 24 March I was part of the BiD network investors trip to Uganda. Naturally, one of the highlights was the visit to one of the Brilliant Entrepreneurs, Margaret Mukusu, who received a small loan through the BiD network trip in September 2016. The loan enabled the proof of concept of her tractor hiring services, and now larger investors are interested in her business.
Interviews about impact with nine former participants
I also took the opportunity to visit other entrepreneurs that we trained from September 2014 to January 2015 to ask them about their progress since they joined our programme. I interviewed nine of the 20 participants and their stories were heart-warming and really impressive.
All have taken great steps
They had all grown, both as people and as businesses. Some of them have taken great steps to involve less privileged communities in their companies, thus embodying Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in their work. Others have started exporting or have managed to get investors and banks on board. For many, their relationships with their staff have improved since they started working with them on the basis of their individual talents. They set targets together and everyone uses their own talent to work towards them.
The network is still close
What also moved me was the fact that the network is still very close. Most of the women did not know each other before they started the training, and now they say it feels like a family that not only benefits them as persons but benefits their businesses too.
For us, it was encouraging to hear evidence that Brilliant Entrepreneur is a valuable programme that is fulfilling needs, and that all our training components are equally important.
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