Monalisa, aged 27 years old, started her business in 2015 with the aim of getting money solely, forgetting the basics of running a business. She sells bags in Bwaise, Kawempe division. Before the training, she used to mix up capital with profit and did not know whether her income was increasing or not. She states that,

Before attending SIHA’s training sessions, I didn’t know how to handle my business. I don’t even remember saving a single coin. All I invested my money in, was buying clothes. This is how clueless I was”.

She also states that sometimes she needed to build her stock but because she did not have money; she would have to sell the bags at a much lower in order to buy the new stock.

Monalisa is content that after the trainings on business skills, advocacy and cooperative formation that SIHA Network has offered, her perception on business has changed. She is positive that all the sessions of training that she has taken part in have contributed positively to her social and economic empowerment. Proof of this lies in the increase of her income which she has been tracking using a record-keeping book to track her expenses and needs.

Makeup and clothes are not things I waste money on nowadays because I realized I can invest this money in another income-generating activity. I have also revised my budget. I spend on things which bring back money to my pocket, as opposed to going to the bar to dance” emphasizes Monalisa.

Monalisa most especially appreciates SIHA for the training on advocacy that she received. She exclaims that during the training, the facilitator emphasized unity which challenged her to join the women street vendors’ saving groups. She further because the authorities like Kampala City Council can only listen to their plight if they are in a group, “KCCA is our major challenge now but together we can fight this cause” says Monalisa.

I would like to thank SIHA for coming to our rescue; I cannot compare myself now to the old me. I feel ashamed to think of how I used to misuse my earnings however the positive side of the coin is that my income has increased compared to the days before the trainings.