March 6, 2024



Young entrepreneurs showcase products at business expo

By Kefa Senoga
The first student-organized business expo at the Uganda Christian University (UCU) School of Business (SoB) was held at the university’s main campus from February 9-10. 

Sekiziyivu Denison, president of the UCU School of Business Society, said the event was intended to promote student commerce, as well as expose them to legal ways of running a business. To participate in the expo, each exhibitor was charged sh20,000 (about $5.1), while alumni paid sh50,000 (about $13). The expo attracted about 80 businesses. 

Angella Kongai, an official from Uganda Revenue Authority — the country’s taxman, said her entity’s role at the exhibition was to create tax awareness. 

“We were told that many students with such businesses are not aware of what happens after setting up a business,” Kongai said. “We have educated them on how to register their businesses, that’s why we came with some literature like the taxation handbook.” 

She said they also explained to the exhibitors how to compute the amount of tax they are supposed to pay based on their businesses.

Some participants shared (below) their experience.

Miiro Joseph, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Using the knowledge and skills I acquired in class, I set up Shelby Gamers, a gaming technology company. Today, I am here to showcase various gaming technologies, including virtual reality and gaming consoles, such as PlayStations, featuring popular games like Mortal Kombat and FIFA soccer.

Many people have had the opportunity to visit our stall and experience augmented reality and virtual reality. Although I have made some money at the exhibition, my primary goal was to market our business. We are the only company in Mukono operating virtual reality games, so we wanted to let people know that we exist.

This business has greatly supported me in terms of income for upkeep at university. I use that money for meals and other basic needs while at campus. Upon realizing the benefits of this business, I started on a journey of training some youth in the community on technology so that they can also empower themselves. 

We intend to introduce an app which people can use to request for boda boda services, such as delivery of food, parcels and for transport. 

Tumwesigwa Emma at his stall
Tumwesigwa Emma at his stall

Tumwesigwa Emma, Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering

I am here to sell Happi bathing oil and soap. The body jelly is our latest product on the market. We launched this project a year ago, as a group of four friends. All of us are students of UCU, pursuing Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. The main ingredients of the 100% natural oil are sunflower and honey. We make the products ourselves and then distribute them to supermarkets and retailers. We use social media platforms to reach different potential customers.

Inventors of the students and staff planner team

The stall selling the student planner
The stall selling the student planner

As a group of students from the Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance, we are offering a planner for students and staff of the university. We started this project as an entrepreneurship assignment from the business school incubation hub. When we excelled in the project, we actualized the idea. Our current objective is to scale up the production. We are optimistic that the product will be well received by the UCU community.

We pooled resources from our savings to start this business after we got the branding guidelines from the UCU communications and marketing office.

We came up with this idea because we thought it’s important for staff and students to plan their days. Sometimes they forget their assignments, so we wanted to have something that can remind them about that. The planner, which costs sh20,000 (about $5.1), covers the entire semester. More than 50 students bought copies of the planner from our stall. 

Arobu Chelsea sells groundnuts in wine bottles
Arobu Chelsea sells groundnuts in wine bottles

Arobu Elsie, Bachelor of Science in Economics and Statistics

In order to put what I learned in class into practice, I started a business of selling roast ground nuts, which didn’t require a lot of capital.

Some of the ground nuts are flavored with chili. I do not put any oil or salt in the ground nuts, in order to serve even those who, for health reasons, do not take them.

Josephine Mareete, lecturer, Department of Art and Design

Josephine Mareete at the stall selling student art pieces
Josephine Mareete at the stall selling student art pieces

We are here to showcase some of the creative works of our students, such as fabric work, woodwork, ceramics and paintings. Our primary goal of participating in this exhibition is to promote and market the offerings of our department. 

We have actively sought feedback to identify areas for improvement, especially concerning marketing strategies and price ranges of our products. The products available for display are pieces for coursework completed by. For instance, some ceramic pieces are at sh5,000 (about $1.3); art pieces at sh10,000 (about $2.54) and woodwork ranges from sh50,000 (about $13) to sh100,000 (about $25.4).