Equity Bank supported my path to empowerment- Mwesigwa

Business
Equity Bank supported my path to empowerment- Mwesigwa
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My name is Allan Mwesigwa, age 32 years, I hail from Gita-Nabutaka village in Nangabo town council, Wakiso district.

I earn my living by making briquettes and energy-saving stoves. My journey to entrepreneurship began as a response to

adversity, which ultimately transformed into a blessing in disguise.

After the untimely death of my sponsor, I was forced to abandon my studies in animal production. Desperate for income, I turned to riding a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi).

However, a fateful accident left me incapacitated for months, unable to work. It was during this period of recovery that I found myself working in a brooder, caring for chicks.

Witnessing the excessive use of charcoal to keep the chicks warm sparked an idea within me- the birth of my briquette-making venture.

Determined to turn this idea into reality, I delved into research and experimentation, gradually transitioning from charcoal residue to utilizing plant materials and other environmentally friendly materials.

In my business, protecting the environment is so dear to my heart. We utilize plant- based materials and actively collect rubbish and other waste from the environment.

For the eco-stoves, we also gather metal scrubs as raw materials, effectively contributing to the preservation of our environment.

A stroke of luck came when a former boda-boda colleague invited me to a financial literacy training session conducted by Equity Bank.

Attending this training was a turning point. I learned about the youth loan products offered by Equity Bank and Mastercard. With newfound knowledge and confidence, I approached the Kasangati branch of Equity Bank.

With the invaluable assistance of  my group members and a supportive credit officer, I completed the loan process and applied for the support of shs3,000,000. I was granted shs1,500,000 which catalyzed my business.

The loan enabled me to invest in a solar dryer and buy more raw materials, significantly increasing my production capacity. What was a modest operation producing 200 briquettes biweekly, transformed into a thriving enterprise churning out 1000 briquettes daily.

The success of my initial investment paved the way for further expansion. With a

second loan of shs 3,000,000, I established a business structure, increased production and constructed a home for my young family.

Subsequent loans facilitated the diversification of my product line, including the production of energy- saving stoves. Additionally, I invested in transportation, purchasing an engine for a tricycle to facilitate product delivery.

As my business flourished, so did employment opportunities for others in my community. From just two casual employees, I now provide steady employment to four young people and three casual labourers.

Through prudent management and hard work, my capital has grown exponentially from shs2,000,000 to shs25,000,000. I have invested in essential machinery such as grinders, welding machines, and briquette-making equipment, which has significantly enhanced efficiency and production capacity.

While my aspiration for business automation persists, I remain grateful to Equity Bank. They have been my partner in progress, empowering me to realize my entrepreneurial dreams and I thank them for their timely intervention in addressing my capital needs.

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