ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

February 5 2021

Greetings to you all,

I hope that you are well. Personally I am doing fine and the country in general is getting back to normal and businesses are starting to reopen and stabilize. The post-election environment was very unpredictable, so the government for some reason deployed lots of army men around the country, most especially within Kampala city. These armed men are still around but they are becoming less and less common and their presence is starting to diminish weekly. 

This weeks’ work was a bit exciting for me because of the progress some Mamas have made since the beginning of 2021. This week I visited Lorna K, Francoise L, Pulakiseda N, Dorah A, Betty N and Harriet L.

Lorna (R) and her daughter Catherine

During my final visit in 2020 with Lorna K., she discussed engaging herself in some kind of business because her tailoring work was failing both during- and post-lockdown. She hardly generated enough money to sustain her home. I remember at one time she asked for a boost to be able to make baby sheets and she actually didn’t make any money at all from it. 

Early this year, Lorna alongside her daughter Catherine opened up a small restaurant that caters food and snacks by Catherine. Catherine specializes in making samosa snacks which she makes every morning and since it is a morning snack, it gives her time to engage in the preparation of the food later in the day. The two have testified that the business has been good and it has involved Catherine’s other younger sister to engage. They make and sell up to 300 samosas a day. This is one of the most exciting things for me this week.

Pulakiseda in her grocery store

The other good visit was with Pulakiseda N. I like to buy my groceries like rice, peas, sugar and other small things from her every month as a way of supporting our Mamas. This time round when I visited her, I noticed that her stock had increased so I asked her what had happened. She was really excited that during the close of the year 2020, we decided to buy hamper items from her stall. She saw an opportunity to grow her business and decided to take another loan from a microfinance to increase her level of capital in the shop. She believes that she will be able to repay this loan and decided to take this loan to grow her business. This is the attitude and character that I wish most of our Mamas would possess, as it would facilitate growth for the majority of our Mama business owners. Well done Pulakiseda.


Dorah A. is another  restaurant owner who is happy with what she is doing. She made my visit interesting. I noticed her restaurant arrangement of the seats had changed, and so I asked her why. She simply said “I want to keep surprising my customers”. In addition, her menu changes almost daily. She says, “Keeping my customers on their toes is what brings them back day in {and} day out”. I was really impressed by her philosophy which I think is certainly a competitive advantage in the location that she operates.

She is happy with the work she is doing and the growth she is experiencing business wise. This is exciting for both of us. Her fridge is working perfectly but her challenge this past week was related to power issues, where she shares her electricity with another person and this affects her expenses. She wants to get her own power line, so she can manage her expenses in relation to usage. {note: we are in the process of helping her to transition to her own permanent power source. -ed.}


For the first time this year, I was able to visit Bettys’ shop where she moved to in early 2021. She is really excited to have moved into her own house even though it has not been fully completed, and she feels very accomplished. She also moved her tailoring shop closer to her home and it is working out well so far. The tailoring shop is large enough and cheaper than what they had been using previously. Her goal was to reduce the cost of operation in terms of rent so that they have more money to spend on developing the actual practice on skills development rather than rent payment. She has two students who come in weekly, every Monday so far. She plans to build on this clientele as she moves forward.


For Harriet, business really is and has been slow for almost the whole year. Unlike Lorna, Harriet doesn’t want to change her business line but is rather wanting to open up a tailoring retail shop selling tailoring supplies like threads, fabric, pins, needles and many other small tailoring items. 

She  has not been doing well in her side gig doing office cleaning due to COVID restrictions, so she goes only one or twice a week which does not generate adequate income to run her home. She was telling me that she wanted to do something else, so I await to see what plans she has moving forward.

Francoise and children

My low this week was when I visited Francoise. She is still struggling just like last year. The food business is not doing well at all. She usually doesn’t sell out of her prepared food each day, but luckily enough the left-over food doesn’t get spoiled before she can sell it. She has cut down to preparing only 5KG of maize and beans. This is all she can afford.

Report by,

Andrew Echel

Programs Director , Uganda

ISEE Solutions Society

Category: Uncategorized