A lot of content on the internet today is centered on self-employment with information convincing everyone of their ability to be an entrepreneur.
However, the brain behind Mashalla food spices East Africa Ltd, Suleiman Kyeyune an expert in small-scale businesses believes that people have different callings and abilities.
"I don’t think entrepreneurship is for everyone because we are all not the same. We have different abilities and skills. Some people are doing well in employment and those in employment yet they should be in entrepreneurship, so there’s no one fit for all,” he said.
The entrepreneur who has spent over 7 years in self-employment after quitting formal employment made the comments in an interview with Crystal Newman during the Groove Cafe on RX Radio.
His venture began in 2016 after attending a workshop training for small businesses from which he picked the idea of making food spices. “I did a bit of research on the demand for food items and decided to center on food spices,” he explained.
But due to limited resources, he started with a kilogram of ginger. "When I told my sister about the startup, she bought the whole kilo that I had intended to sell in about 24 containers. It was funny but it was a signal that the spices are highly demanded,” he narrated.
He recalled steadily making sales and as his business grew, he was appointed the Kampala Chairperson of the Small Scale Businesses Association. When the covid-19, pandemic set in and crippled other businesses, he was glad that Mashalla and other agri-businesses were one of the lucky few that remained operative.
“During the lockdown, we had a lot of support from the association. The also government allowed us to continue delivering and we did. The only challenge was delayed payments by supermarkets. Those paying in 28 days would pay in 30 or 60 days. Luckily, the demand for the products was still high, probably because many people were using them as concoctions to prevent themselves from catching covid 19.”
He acknowledged the support of environmental activists to local farmers in this season of drought. Additionally, he noted that small-scale businesses have managed to survive the harsh economy because they can import products unavailable in the local markets.
The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5 pm on RX Radio.
Download the RX Radio app: