MEET MEBRA: EQUIPPING HERSELF AND OTHERS
Blog, Entrepreneurs, Social Entrepreneurship, Stories From the Field, Woman Entrepreneur, women's stories
Mebra Mubiru, a 36-year-old and a Busia, Uganda resident, has emerged as a beacon of hope and inspiration for women in her community. Formerly a farmer, Mebra decided to join the SBS training program as a trainer and subsequently embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that defied her initial expectations.
As an extension of our partnership model, SBS recently joined hands with community leaders in Busia who helped identify and engage women who could truly benefit from the life-changing entrepreneurship training. This partnership, rooted in a shared purpose and a deep connection to the community, holds the potential to ripple through the lives of women and the community.
It was through the community leaders that Mebra first learned about the SBS program. The district community development officer recruited her as a volunteer trainer. Following the rigorous SBS training of trainers’ program, Mebra embraced her new role as a coach, but also found the motivation to become an entrepreneur herself.
As a coach, Mebra played a pivotal role in training over 1,183 women who proudly graduated in the Busia ceremony. Her unwavering dedication and passion have not only equipped these women with vital skills and knowledge but also ignited a spark of belief with them. Mebra was also inspired to start her own business “Since I’m going to be training the women, I should be exemplary and also own a business,” Mebra asserted confidently. With that mindset, she ventured into the new world of small-scale entrepreneurship, specializing in making delectable pancakes. Mebra had previously believed that her desired business required substantial capital but discovered that starting small was a viable option.
During her training sessions with women, Mebra displayed her own small-scale enterprise, using her freshly made pancakes as an example. With a modest initial investment of $4.02, Mebra now saves $1.34 daily from her profits.
Buoyed by the success of her pancake business, Mebra decided to expand her entrepreneurial endeavors further. With a saving of $26.81, she journeyed to neighboring Kenya and purchased an assortment of plastic cups, plates, saucepans, and buckets. Displaying her wares alongside the roadside, Mebra quadrupled her profit and began generating $5.36 each day!
Despite her achievements, Mebra encounters several challenges in her business. The cost of transportation to source her goods, high tax rates imposed on small businesses, unpredictable weather conditions that hinder her roadside operations, and the constant need to clean dust off the plastic items are among the hurdles she faces daily.
Reflecting on her experiences as a trainer, Mebra expressed immense satisfaction with the positive impact she witnessed firsthand. The topic that resonated most with her trainees was money management. “I am naturally extravagant; I never knew how to manage money. I would use it anyhow. But now I know how to restrict myself and use my money wisely,” Mebra admitted.