Last night [12/01/2018], Ugandan businessman, Patrick Bitature visited entrepreneurs at the Innovation Village in Ntinda. Bitature was invited by the Lead of the Innovation Village, CK Japheth, to kick-start the year for the hub, it’s occupants and other interested entrepreneurs.
This was after he read about Patrick’s letter in the New Vision emphasizing the importance of persistence and tenacity when venturing into entrepreneurship.
Hard times serve to remind us that there is no substance for persistence. It takes time to build dreams – but we must keep at it. pic.twitter.com/ahI6SsBghN
— CK Japheth (@CKJapheth) January 2, 2018
With an estimated audience of over 100 youths all attentive, Bitature narrated his challenges before and after starting the Simba Group. The notable ones being where he lost money in millions of dollars as well as when he couldn’t or found it hard to secure financing from banks for new ventures.
For example, when he was required by MTN to open 20 shops in one day if he was to supply their airtime. He also talked about working with Vodacom in Tanzania where the employees of Vodacom connived with his to swindle around $1,000,000. He would later face the same challenge in Nigeria, where what seemed to be a healthy company lost all the working capital to employee swindling.
His message was mixed with motivational and best business practices as well as habits entrepreneurs should embrace to ensure they realize their dreams.
After his speech, a Q&A followed where he took several questions from the enthusiastic youths. Many asked questions surrounding how he was able to achieve the kind of success he has to date. To which he recommended financial literacy, a reading culture and remaining focused.
However, while answering one of the questions, Patrick emphasized the importance of technology in Uganda’s future. He explained that while as agriculture can employee majority of the population, it is technology that Uganda should bet. Something that resonated well with the audience.
He also pointed out that “while as some people will say that Kenya and Rwanda are ahead of us, I think none will benefit [from technology] if they use or work on it alone.” Before advising that we need to come together as a bloc to reap maximum benefits.
Last year, the Innovation Village saw a couple of high profile government and political figures pay a visit. These included Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Hon. Kyagulanyi “Bobi Wine” Ssentamu and many more. (See also: What can I do for you? Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asks Innovators and the 10 Moments Plus 1 that defined The Innovation Village Kampala in 2017).