How a secondary school teacher turned into a successful baker

The pandemic posed a challenge to many of us and more so to teachers in Uganda. Uganda’s schools have been fully or partially shut for more than 77 weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, the longest disruption anywhere in the world. At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the president issued an order that all schools be closed with immediate effect to reduce the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus among school-going children. This meant that teachers would not be paid for the months they would be at home. Many teachers nationwide look at their salaries as their primary source of livelihood so the closure of schools not only affected their work schedule but livelihood.

When schools closed, parents stopped paying, income dried up and most schools had to reduce or stop paying teachers’ salaries. There have been stories in the local newspapers about teachers resorting to different income-generating activities as a means of survival in this season. One of them is Prossy Keziah who went through the Kyusa Business Enable program this year.

Prossy Keziah Mugerwa is a secondary school teacher. She teaches geography and economics at Lubiri high school and St Peters school Nsambya. She teaches from senior one to senior six. She stays in Lubiri palace with her family in a house provided by the school.

When schools were closed, Prossy and her family were assured of a room over their heads but nothing more than that. She had to think of ways to make ends meet not knowing how long the school closure would last.

She plummeted back to the baking skills she had gained from a home economics teacher in 2019. She had set out to gain the skills as a hobby and now they were about to become her source of livelihood. Prossy started putting her baking skills to work and made cakes. She is fortunate to be the only baker in the community where she stays so soon people started making orders.

She knew that to stay in the business, she would have to up her game so she reached out to the teacher friend who had taught her for refresher lessons and could soon take on more complex orders. As the orders grew, so was her need for more capital to invest in the business. She reached out to a friend to lend her money to invest in her business but her friend offered to sponsor her for the Kyusa Business Enable program.

She enrolled in the program reluctantly because at that moment she just wanted the money and was pleasantly surprised. The program started by equipping her as a person before taking a deep dive into her business model and strategy. She was equipped to develop a personal vision, mission, articulate her values, develop a vision board and personal growth plan.

“the program was for business but it first dealt with me as an individual and my eyes were opened in a number of aspects of my life”, said Prossy.

Not only did the program equip her as a person, it also equipped her to better structure her business. She was able to discover her niche clients, articulate her business model, develop a marketing plan, financial and record-keeping systems in her business.

At the time of enrolling for the course, Prossy was taking on 7 – 6 cake orders a month, within the first month after enrolling her orders increased to 17 cake orders a month and by the time she completed the program she had registered 21 cake orders that month. This she attributes to implementing the principles that they had taught her in the Kyusa Business Enable Program.

She was able to save up enough money to buy an electric mixer which has enabled her to take on more monthly orders because now the workload is lighter than before when she had to mix manually.

Her three-year plan is to open up a bakery because she currently works from her home. She aspires to grow her business into a full-fledged business and not just a side hustle. She has plans to open up a training center for some of her students who have expressed interest in learning baking and more business skills from her besides what she teaches in the economics classes.

At kyusa we are committed to unlocking potential in entrepreneurs and equipping them to build scalable and sustainable businesses. We are proud of the milestones that Prossy has achieved and look forward to the greater strides she is about to take in her business

You can watch a video of Prossy’s testimonial here –