Rwanda: A young Ugandan entrepreneur tells her expo experience

Viola Nantopota

Viola Nantopota, is one of the exposants at Gikondo grounds in Kigali, Rwanda.

Most of her life she lived with a dream of being self employed, but with many obstacles and short of resources despite that, Violet could not rest until she realised her goal in life.

Viola, still in her 30s and a diploma holder in catering, is a single Ugandan woman entrepreneur who was not armed with academic papers upon completion of studies going from office to office, hotel to hotel looking for a job.

Violet’s dream of being self employed still strongly lingered in her mind even after 5 years of being unemployed at her parent place.

The dream finally made her come up with the idea of looking for any job that could gain her experience to set up her own similar business.

“Luck was on her side”, viola got a job in a handcrafts shop, where she worked from 2008 to 2011. Her honesty earned her a lot of trust from her boss as well as the customers she served with best service.

In Uganda some markets host market days every Fridays, where people who make handcrafts show case their beautiful art. These people have committed themselves to help create jobs especially among youths. Anyone is allowed making contacts with them and learning from their skills on whatever type of hand crafts you are interested in. “I contacted these people in order for me to build my capacity and at a fast rate,” says viola.

While she was working and gained more experience she did not forget to save some money from her little salary for her capital. She also ventured into selling handcraft products from other people, who would give her their crafts on the agreed amount, after selling whatever she remained with was added to her savings to increase her capital base.

During the same year 2011, she decided to set up her business. Her handcraft business, is improving.

At viola’s stall you will find her wonderful work including: table mats, hand bags, beading, necklaces among others.

“I thank the organizers of expo, for this will market our products on international level, I have already made connections with customers who will be communicating with me from Uganda to buy my products.”


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