Isabirye used pocket money to make fortune out of events décor business

During his formative years, Douglas Dixon Isabirye used to move with his mother as she went about her event decoration business in the Eastern Uganda town of Bugembe.

“She used to take me along to every function she had and she emphasized that I had to get involved in decorating despite my young age and size,” the 23-year-old Isabirye says.

Living with a single mother who always gave words of encouragement to her three children was enough to motivate Isabirye who had now dropped out of school after completing his senior four to fly on his own.

The start

He says having realized life was tough and had to do something to earn a living, taking on the job previously done by the mother was an easy option for him.

 “Seeing my single mother providing for my two big sisters and myself motivated me to keep that legacy in the family. I knew what to do and having learnt from her, I was sure if taken seriously, I would make a fortune out of decoration,” he says.

 “The only capital that I ever started with was Shs10,000 that was given to me as pocket money. I used it for transporting the equipment to the venue on a Boda Boda,” he says about the start.

Isabirye says having worked with his mother, it was easy for him to befriend other services providers like DJs, tent rental companies and catering service providers and that it is these who have helped him out.

“It is through these other services providers that I mostly get clients.  Of late I have started advertising my business on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,” he says.

Isabirye says he does decoration services for weddings, introductions, birthday parties, kukyala and indoor conference events.

“I charge according to how the client wants their function to be. For instance, if it is an introduction ceremony, there are few tables and decoration is mainly in the in-laws’ tent. For a wedding, the cost goes up a bit because everyone must be seated on a decorated table,” he says.

The 23-year-old says he is proud of the events decoration business that has ensured he earns a living but above all, employ two other fellow youths.

“I have managed to provide for myself despite the scarce jobs in the country and I am looking forward to expanding this business to a bigger company.”


Isabirye also has some piece of advice to fellow youths who seek to be successful in life.

“My brothers and sisters out there must know that no billionaire made it by earning a salary. I personally wanted to be a doctor, instead ended up a decorator. Entrepreneurship is the only option left for us youths,” he says.

He says whereas there are so many government programs like Emyooga, Parish Development Model, not many youth benefit from them, noting that something needs to be changed by government.

“I am pleading to government to change the way these programs are implemented to ensure they benefit many people. Perhaps, government should give out that money to youths directly through their bank accounts with no interest. This way, many will benefit,” he says.

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