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Why Women Count: Uganda - Enterprising Women
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Why Women Count: Uganda - Enterprising Women
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Grace Lwemamu is manager of the family business Mulya Maize in Uganda. Mary Kaddu runs her own supermarket business. But both felt their lack of management expertise was holding them back. Now they have taken part in a new national mentoring scheme, pairing experienced businesswomen with would-be entrepreneurs in Uganda, equipping them with new confidence and negotiating skills.
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Camera: Chris Wanobere
Editor: Mike Ilamyo
Produced and Directed by Irene Zikusoka

Coordinated by tve.

Learn more about the series Why Women Count.

Series supported by Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Global Opportunities Fund (FCO), UN Population Fund, UNIFEM/UN Women, and Al Jazeera English.
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Segment 1

TITLE
Why Women Count
TITLE
Enterprising Women
VOICEOVER
In Uganda successful professional and businesswomen are often put on a pedestal, celebrated yet isolated from the women beneath them. This situation makes it difficult for younger women to see them as role models. Women make up 40 percent of university graduates, yet only half of them find formal employment within two years of graduating. And now with the formal job market shrinking, many women are turning to the enterprise economy, setting up small and medium-sized businesses on their own or with their families. Grace graduated in design, but she is now working in the family maize-milling business. She needs to learn some essential skills to help her succeed.
GRACE LWEMAMU [Manager, Mulya Maize Millers and Traders]
The people I work with -- the workers, mainly -- didn't ever recognize me as their manager. I don't know whether it was because I'm a woman or because I was young at that time. I don't know exactly. You tell them to do something, they first hesitate then you have to contact the director to see that something gets done.
VOICEOVER
Breaking into the business world has been hard for many women in Uganda because women have far fewer role models. Now a new scheme set up by the British Council is giving young women the opportunity to be matched with experienced business and professional women.
BOB GARVEY [Trainer, Mentoring Program]
Women in particular are very good at this because they tend to have a lot of motivation, are very creative, innovative, tend to be very determined to make these things succeed. And also something that women are very good at is relating to other people, persuading other people and so on, which are all important business skills in today's economy.
VOICEOVER
At the Mothers of Hope Mentoring Club for HIV positive women, older members share their experiences with new members. Through this process, Jennifer and her friend have been able to set up a shop selling handicrafts and second-hand clothing.
JENNIFER NAMUGERWA [Mothers of Hope, African Mentoring Institute]
When we came here to learn they taught us how to save money. I never knew how to save money, but now I can save. They even taught us the tactics of how to persuade a customer to buy and to like your product, and to buy it even when they would not have bought it.
VOICEOVER
Already the course is yielding results, helping both new and existing entrepreneurs. As Commissioner in the Prison Services, Mary Kaddu is used to giving orders, but in her private supermarket business she had to develop new ways of communicating.
MARY KADDU [Commissioner, Uganda Prisons Services]
Before I went on the course, I used to use the parent to child approach whereby I was just commanding and giving orders to my workers, but now I am using the adult to adult approach. We sit together with my workers, we discuss, and we look at challenges. At the end of the day we come out with solutions to make the business better.
VOICEOVER
During the four-day course, 30 experienced business and professional women are trained in business skills: to listen, to question, to spot and to negotiate business opportunities. These mentors are matched with three or four young women entrepreneurs. The perception the older and younger women have of one another has started to change.
MARY KADDU
The problem is not only with the experienced ladies, but also with the young girls. Sometimes they are very arrogant and they don't want to take orders from the experienced ladies.
VOICEOVER
Mary is now able to help former female prisoners set up their own business ventures.
MARY KADDU
After my mentoring I went to the women who have passed out, who have some businesses, and I talked to them about negotiation skills and communication skills. Then we talk to them about how to make plans, how to decide which is the best program or the best business for them. At the end of the day when they are financially stable, then I know their men won't leave them.
TITLE
[End credits]