Prossy Namulindwa is a chemical engineer by profession and a lecturer at Ndejje University. Prossy is driven by curiosity, loves knowledge, and values her spirituality and friendships. There in her has always been a hunger to bring social and economic change first in her stead, and those around her. Today she runs a home-baked business – Cake Vine Bakery, among other businesses she is running under the company name Georgia enterprises Limited.
“Over the last two years, the education sector in Uganda has suffered, and being a lecturer, we were made ‘idle’. Our sources of livelihood had been tampered with, but so were the other businesses”, she said.
She heard about the incubator from a mentorship group NGMP – New Generation Mentorship Program, where she is an alumnus. While in this space, they had gone through discovering who they were, their passions, strengths and other things that would later build lead her through this crisis.
“The general spending power was reduced, as had many people’s incomes. Sitting down without income, ceased to be an option. No one was certain for how long we would be locked down, or when we will be going back to work. I remembered that during the mentorship, we had listed down our passions. I had 20 of them, narrowed them down to10, then 5, and out of these, I noticed, cooking stood out and baking in particular was it. So Cake Vine, is my Covid baby”
In August 2020, with the home oven she’d bought prior, Cake Vine started. Prossy watched youtube & facebook videos, on the different styles of baking. Along the journey, she realized that some things like finances, knowing your customer weren’t aligned with a clear pathway in sight.
“Halfway the Cake Vine journey, I joined the Incubator, and this has helped me scale my business, starting with articulating my vision, mission, what Cake Vine is about and what values it stands for. During the course, I learned that a business is meant to foot its bills, pay its owner, and save some money for investment. After the incubator, things fell into place, because I had learned which things to value; customer service and generosity, rank highest in my line of service. Networking is one of the other things I got from the incubator, I met other bakers, with whom we share knowledge, and they too exposed me to their networks. The trainers have walked the journey with me, even after the program.”
“The toughest thing, during this program, was realizing that I had made the money, but couldn’t account for it, having customers and I didn’t really know. My biggest take home, and achievement has been the ability to apportion our income, in order to ascertain the profit” said Prossy.
In the last year, Cake Vine has been able to acquire a large locally fabricated oven which is not only cost-effective on energy consumption but can accommodate large pans, and more cakes especially when she has large or many orders.
“I honestly would recommend any business owner whose journey isn’t in order and its struggling to stay afloat. There’s a thing or two you will learn to sustain your business to thrive in these economic times.”