Byonanebye was inspired by a stranger to start his juice business

The juice business is one of the lucrative ventures that many Ugandans have moved into recently.

The market has also evolved and grown to embrace fresh natural drinks that are enjoyed by many at social functions, at home and at work.

In 2019, fresh from campus, Rinah Byonanebye who has just graduated from Kyambogo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Administrative Science couldn’t land a job despite her efforts to look for one.

“I failed to get employment but continued to try my luck everywhere,” Byonanebye says.

Byonanebye didn’t give up her search for a job.

Also her love for sports never waned.

However, little did she know that it is from this love for sports that would birth an idea that would become her savior.

“We were at a football pitch and I saw a stranger who was vending juice to the spectators. I got the idea of trying out my luck in making and selling juice from the stranger,” she says.

For Byonanebye, it was easy to start out, especially making juice because at home, she had gained the experience of making different types of juices.

The start

For Byonanebye, it was a humble beginning. She only had Shs 70,000 as capital.

“I borrowed the money from a friend and I bought fruits that I used to start the business of selling juice. My aunt bought me disposable cups as a contribution to my business,” she says.

Others begin such a business with modern equipment such as juice dispensers, juice blenders, glasses, and jugs but this was not the case with Byonanebye who could not afford such with her meager Shs 70,000 capital.

She explains that she had to use the blender at her parents’ home and this helped her for many years until she was able to buy her own in the latter stages of the business.

The beginning is never easy and this was the case with Byonanebye’s juice business as she struggled to get customers.

Whereas she thought it would be easy to find people to buy her juice, things didn’t turn out as she expected and it seemed to be a tall order.

However, as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, Byonanebye also got tough and devised means to market her products. Social media came in especially handy.

“I started marketing my juice on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. Here, I realized the number of customers grew. Those who bought the juice and enjoyed it would post about it and also make referrals to many others and before I knew it, the number of customers had grown,” she says.

She explains that since she doesn’t have a permanent location from where she sells the juice, she delivers to homes, offices and other places where the customers ask her to deliver.

Byonanebye has also tapped into the growing market of Ugandans who seem to have shunned drinks that have preservatives opting instead for natural fruit juices.

 “I started preparing juice and selling it at birthday parties, baptism, house parties and other events that bring together large gatherings,” she says.

She says she has been hired by the event organisers to prepare juice for them and says her clients have found her products fantastic since hers is natural juice that can be consumed by children, the elderly and all kinds of people.

She says that whereas the Covid-19 pandemic hit her business badly just like it did to many others, she was able to recover and is back up and running.

Proud of her business

Byonanebye says she is proud of the 2019 decision that she made to start from scratch to try out the juice business.

“Business is moving on smoothly and we are expanding slowly. I am very proud of the success so far achieved. With time I am planning to get a place and station my business where customers can easily come to enjoy their favourite juice,” she says.

The youthful businesswoman says fellow youth, especially girls, should not wait to get employed but use the little money they have to start their own business.

“Use your talent to earn money. As long as you are good at anything you will be able to earn from it,” she says.

Byonanebye however asks government to deliberately equip youth with more skills as a way of fighting unemployment.

She explains that with skills, many youths will be able to start their own jobs, rather than waiting for government to intervene.

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