Mr Charles Ocici, the Executive Director of Enterprise Uganda, has tipped the youth to change the belief that a lot of capital is required for a business to succeed.
Presenting a paper on “Youth, Unemployment and Financial literacy”, at the National Resistance Movement party headquarters in Kampala, on Friday, Ocici, the Enterprise Uganda chief, said most Ugandan youths think of starting businesses after accumulating capital, a big hindrance to business success.
“This is a stressful move because capital will never be enough. It is important for you to start a business with what you have and from wherever you are,” Ocici said.
He said starting a business is always difficult because there is hardly a vacuum in any sector waiting for a pioneer.
“A good business idea is based on what you will sell, who your customers are and how you will sell,” Ocici said, adding that, “Some businesses fold because they do not have a sound vision and hardly any planning”.
Ocici also said that Ugandans are among the topmost world leaders in starting enterprises but 70% of the businesses never celebrate their second anniversaries due to marred vision, complacency and disrespect for customers.
He challenges the youth for looking at capital as the only driver for a successful business and forgetting other fundamentals of business development.
“Concentrating on capital is one of the major reasons why 70% of small and medium enterprises do not mark their second anniversaries. Starting a business requires you to have a long-term outlook,” he said.
“Customers are the most important component of your business, once they start complaining, then revise your ways immediately and change to the customers’ interest,” he adds.
He cautioned the youth about laziness, advising them to utilize the private sector since it is for everyone whether educated or not.
“Some individuals are caught up in poverty because of their laziness and that poverty can cling to you forever,” he said adding that, “In the private sector a PhD holder competes with a Primary one dropout. Therefore we have to fight for the business space.”
“If you are born into poverty it isn’t your fault and choice, but if you remain in poverty, then it’s your choice. Even in the Bible and Quran laziness is not tolerated anywhere. The two Holy books preach the message of sweat.”
He advises the youth not to rely on employment which takes much of their youthful energy that can be used to start successful ventures. “In fact,” he said, “the age doesn’t matter for one to start a business. We have seen successful business people who are in their 20s. Therefore you should not waste your energetic youthful age searching for employment to earn you a salary.”
Ocici pointed out the challenge of excuses that are eating up the youth, saying that, “The first obstacle you should get rid of if you are going into business is ‘excuses’. The moment you mention excuses and everyone believes in them they switch off your mind”.
The NRM party Secretary General Hon. Richard Todwong reiterated Mr Ocici’s wise counsel saying that the biggest problem business owners have is the spirit of ‘arrivalism‘ and mediocrity.
“The spirit of ‘arrivalism‘ and mediocrity has killed many businesses. When you feel you are okay with that income, then that’s troublesome. Earning a million a month makes you an economic pygmy and income dwarf,” he mentioned amid cheers of laughter from the yellow donned audience.
Todwong also reminded the youth that they are the energy of this country that the future of its economy belongs to them.