From Selling Fruits and Vegetables On a Veranda to Owning 7 Businesses – Susan Nyachwo
Originally published in the Stellar Woman
As part of our partnership with Street Business School, Stellar Woman Magazine had chat with some of their success stories. Street Business School empowers women to become thriving entrepreneurs, lifting themselves and their families to a more vibrant future.
In this interview, Susan Nyachwo shares her experience growing from selling fruits and vegetable to owning 7 businesses.
Tell us about yourself and backstory.
I am Nyachwo Susan and I’m 50 years old. I am a japadola from Tororo and my residence is in Luzira. I am a mother of five children and I am a
What business did you want to do as a child?
I just wanted to be a shopkeeper. Somebody who can make money in so many ways. That was my dream.
What was your life before Street Business School? What were you doing?
I had a smaller retail shop with these communities of Nakawa. I was selling things from Nakawa market but on just a veranda near somebody’s shop. Then after that, I entered in that shop. For like one year, I was running the business but it was not going on well. So I was just there doing it at times, money comes down, at times it goes up. But after this street business school came, I said to myself, why can’t I go and study from this business school because what I was doing was not helpful. After going to Street Business School, I achieved many things. I increased my shop. So that shop has brought for me many businesses. The shop business was going on well. I learned how to save, pay myself salary, and book keeping, things I didn’t know. Before, I didn’t really understand where the money from the business was going because I just used it anyhow without even accounting for the profits it had brought in. I didn’t know that I was supposed to pay myself. So after attending street business school, the business thrived more and more and now I have something like seven businesses. I have a shop, a chicken house, rentals, I sell chicken feeds,
What were you selling while you were doing the business on the veranda?
I was generally selling produce. That’s tomatoes, onions, cabbage, greens and other small things, and from there is when I entered the shop.
And now, what does the shop sell?
Everything. I sell beans, rice sugar, posho and other general merchandise.
What is the biggest thing in your journey on this whole path since you went to business school? What has been your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement was the shop because it is the shop which has brought all this type of business that I now I have in my life, and I’m happy.
How quickly did you see the change? How long did it take?
It has not taken very long. Since we studied, it has taken like 3-4 years. But the most important thing I got from it all was that if you look around your area for a business and you don’t see that business you want to start, just go ahead and do it. That’s exactly what I did, I started a firewood business and I was the only one doing it. So many people like 20, came at once and bought it all. They needed it for frying French fries, pancakes, cassava. So it really did well and within one year, I had saved up enough money to do something else.
How does it feel to be that wealthy woman?
I’m very happy, and empowered, and I am so glad that Street Business School came to my area. People couldn’t believe I am what I am now, so I am very encouraged because I know within a few years, I will be more powerful than I am right now.
So before that in your family, how was it and how does it feel that you’re now an empowered woman with your children and everything?
My children are very happy and when they see me here, when they always see me in the street business school, when they saw me on the NBS they were very happy and told me mommy we have to work just like you did. We can’t give up because you have been a very good example.
Before, we could get loans to pay their school fees, but right now I can’t get a loan and yet they also eat very well. They are so proud of me.
When people talk about money and building wealth, what does it mean to you?
In my own view, money makes me happy, healthy, more confident and powerful.
You run so many businesses, how do you manage to do them?
I have around six employees working for me. But I don’t just leave them to do everything. I do supervise them. I keep checking on each of my business if it’s running very well. Is the chicken food being eaten properly? Will the chicken be ready to be sold in four week time? Things like that. So generally you don’t just sit and relax because you have employees if you want your businesses to succeed.
And what about the children. How do you balance it all with work?
My children at times come and help me out at the shop during holidays while I stay home to do some other work or even as o go check on the employees. Because they also have to be hardworking just like their mother so I have to teach them at such an early age how to manage the business.
What in your view is stopping women from becoming wealthy like you?
All they want to do is relax and not get out of their comfort zone. They just want to wait for their husbands to bring money to them at home as they continue watching television. You know I have a television but I can take like three weeks without even watching it. It feels really good to count your money, do what you want and not expecting anyone to bring for you.
What future do you envision for women?
Women will be more empowered, confident and hardworking like men. They will finally be able to do what they want without waiting for someone else to hand them money.
What message would you give to your 15 year old self if you were to go back in time?
Never give up, go ahead with what you are doing.
Where do we see Susan in the next 5-10 years?
I picture a bigger shop and I will be driving within five years. I want to be so powerful that if someone sees me, they can refer to me as the woman who used to sell things on the veranda. I will be more empowered.
Do you have a life mantra?
Never give up, never give up, and Go ahead.
Leave a challenge to help women reading your story to start building their wealth and become rich and powerful women.
I want them to start a business and not just be beggars or wait for someone to hand them money.
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