MEET MEDIUS: On the Path to Financial Freedom
Medius is an energetic 53-year-old who lives with and cares for herself and four grandchildren. A few years ago, she was a very successful business woman, owning and operating a store in Kampala where she sold grains. She often travelled to Western Uganda to restock items for her business.
On one such trip, she carried working capital for purchases worth $2625, some of which she had borrowed from a bank. Thieves attacked the vehicle that she and her business colleagues were travelling in and stripped them of everything they had, including money and clothing, practically leaving them naked. “I lost all my money that day, with no way of paying back the loan,” lamented Medius. “I had no choice but to instruct the bank to sell my only plot of land.”
Medius was devastated, but she picked up the pieces and went to her relative to find work. Helping in her relative’s garden, Medius saved every shilling of her wage. She managed to save $209 which she used to rent a room and start a business selling ajon and bushera, two local drinks made of dried and malted millet. “My businesses were doing so well, but then Covid-19 came,” Medius said. “I was so afraid of catching Covid that even when the lockdown was lifted, I couldn’t go to the city to replenish supplies.” Medius then resorted to selling a few of the chickens and ducks that she kept to raise money for rent and care for her family.
While drawing on the ground, Medius narrated how Street Business School’s livelihood training had nurtured her confidence and changed her life. She had shown an aptitude for running a business, but needed the encouragement, grit and hope in order to try once more. Towards the end of the entrepreneurial training, Medius overcame her fears and resumed her businesses.
Her biggest challenge once started was how to build savings. SBS shared best practices for tracking expenditures, profits, and customer service. “I was keeping track of the money I was making, but I didn’t know why I wasn’t making any profit,” said Medius. “Street Business School taught me how to reduce my expenditures, and that helped me realize that I could save.” Medius invests all her savings and has accumulated $50, which she plans to use to start a food business to compliment her local beer business. Slowly with intentionality and hard work, Medius is bouncing back from adversity.