Julius’ copy shop and learning center
Julius is a teacher who decided to start a copy shop and computer center in the village he was teaching in. He tells his story as follows:
“My name is Mwasampijja Julius and I am a teacher from Butambala (Uganda). My journey started as a teacher in 2016 in Ngando Bright Primary School. During that year of my teaching we teachers, students and people in the community faced some problems as far as education is concerned:
– Making research by the students due to lack of a place where they can go to in that community. The only place where research can be made is a long distance from here;
– Photocopying documents, printing and scanning by people and students in the community was also a problem;
– There was no bookshop in the community where students, parents and teachers go to buy scholastic materials, which made everything more difficult;
– Moving far from the community to go to a place where they get those services makes education too expensive because it requires lot of transport.
People in the community depend on agriculture and cannot afford high costs for their children’s studies. As a teacher, I bought one laptop, one printer and one scanner but this is not enough for students in the community which are many in number. I also tried to bring few scholastic materials which schools and students use. But they are in high demand due to many students and schools.
My desire is to get a big place and more machines like computers, printers and scanners and to add more scholastic materials in the bookshop to make the learning of students in the community easy and solve people’s problems. My overall vision is to observe the needs of students and their parents in the community and to satisfy those needs. My plan is for this shop to be self-sustained once it is started.”
Julius has been the owner of his first copy shop for several years, during which time he taught many children how to use search engines and programs like Word, Excel, Powerpoint and so on. For some people who could not afford to pay for the individual classes, he offered free lessons, which was made possible by the other aspects of the business, which could cover the salaries of his employees.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought almost every business in Uganda to a halt and caused long school closures, so Julius’ customer base quickly vanished, so that he had to scale down.
He sold the big printer he used to have and one of the 2 computers, and moved everything else to a smaller, more decentralized location from which he is trying to keep the shop alive. This is proving very difficult though, due to the difficulty in reaching the shop and the basic equipment.
In order to provide Julius’ business with the push it needs to continue serving its customers, we reached out to a friend who is a succesful businessman in Kampala: Abubaker Ssemukoteka. He agreed to watch over this project from the financial perspective, so that we can be made aware of any hidden obstacles and misunderstandings due to the lack of local business knowledge in our organization can be cleared.
This project started in December 2021. You can find all updates here:
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Updates about this project
12 / 03 / 2023
Today we completed the list of items needed for a successful start of Julius’ new copy shop.
This list can be found here: Budget_List-CopyShop
Julius and Abubaker gathered many different quotations in order to find the best prices, and we decided on the following strategy: some items will be purchased in Kampala and transported to Ngando by car, some others will be purchased directly in the area of Ngando, and some valuable but not bulky items will be sent from Germany in the luggage of a kind flyer.
Also, we updated all the different ways you can contribute to this project. Check them out!
01 / 03 / 2023
This evening we (Alice) had the pleasure to meet a representative of the organization Abaana Uganda e.V., which is based in Berlin and is active in many ways to achieve its goal of supporting people and taking down the colonial and racist mechanisms which are found in our societies and in the development cooperation structures.
One can say that their main ongoing project is the Purpose Uganda Babies Home (PUBAH), where many children live and attend school classes.
You can find out more about them at: abaana-uganda.com.
30 / 10 / 2022
After a lot of calculations, market research, data collection and thinking, our team came up with the final business plan for Julius’ copy shop.
This document is the base of our sustainability analysis.
We thank all the people who gave us feedback on it. If you would like to comment, please use any of the contact media below. We will be glad to read your feedback!
The file is published here on Google Sheets:
20 / 09 / 2022
On the 20th of September, our business consultant Abubaker Ssemukoteka visited several shops in Kampala to obtain an overview of printer and scanner prices.
He came back with information on different models and makes, and we also requested the assistance of his colleague who own a copy shop in Kampala to make sense of the price differences, ranging from 750.000 UGX (about 200 EUR) to 3.800.000 UGX (about 1.000 EUR).
Some of the models can print in color, some do not have this feature. Some can print faster than others but are far more expensive. Choosing the proper equipment for the shop will certainly be a challenge.
01/ 09 / 2022
On the 1st of September 2022, our business consultant Abubaker Ssemukoteka and one of his golleagues who owns a similar activity in Kampala travelled to Ngando to see the current shop location.
This looks very different from the one Julius used to run before the pandemic: it is very small, the equipment decreased a lot and it is very far from the center of the village, which affects business greatly.
Abubaker interviewed Julius on his business goals and strategies, in order for the team to start compiling a business plan.
Reach out to us. We’ll be glad to hear from you!
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