Friday August 6th - Saying Goodbye:
Last day at Strivers and everyone is sporting the rather fashionable Strivers BLP T-Shirt
Thursday August 5th - Final Business Plan Competition:
Student submit their official Business Plans seeking Strivers Funding. Alfred is proposing a steel store to supply rebuilding efforts in Northern Uganda and southern Sudan post conflicts. Barbra is presenting her pizzeria designed to cater to foreigners stationed in northern Uganda for oil extraction, Amos unveils his high speed internet cafe and Nassur discusses his bicycle mounted mobile phone charging platform.
Tuesday August 3rd - Quality Chemical Uganda Trip:
Students got a first hand look at how drugs are produced at the largest pharmaceutical company in Africa. Quality Chemical Uganda was kind enough to give a full tour of their facilities and then have staff sit down and answer student questions. The lunch lady outfits were thrown in for free!!!
Sunday August 1st - Drivers Ed:
After a lengthy classroom dialog about etiquette technique and safety, students had the opportunity to drive for the first time on the back roads of Ntinda. Once they got going no one wanted to relinquish the driver's seat.
Saturday July 31st - Prototyping:
Nassuru demonstrating his peddle powered cell phone charger on a bycicle. He plans to produce the device for $5 and sell it for $15.
Thursday July 29th - Independent Business Plan Research:
Students have been taking time to research all aspects of their future businesses. With the discovery of large oil deposits in northern Uganda and the influx of foreigners to extract it Barbra wants to create a pizzeria as an alternative dining experience to local fare. She is practicing making pizza dough. Nassuru has designed a bicycle mounted dynamo based system to charge cell phones. Here he demonstrates his working prototype.
Sunday July 25th - Second Business Plan Competition:
Barbra presenting her team's citronella candle company as an inexpensive way to combat east Africa's malaria and mosquito problem and Rehima presenting her team's youth oriented advertising agency.
Wednesday July 21st - Word Challenge:
All Strivers students collaborating to answer a word challenge Nidhi issued during the morning session.
Monday July 19th - Pro-Forma Financials:
Nidhi doing an awesome job teaching accounting and financials to the Strivers class. She traded in her vacation time to join us for the week - true dedication.
Sunday July 18th - Cooking:
Nassuru and Issac volunteered to help cook Italian food for dinner. They were total naturals.
Thursday July 15th - Strategy mapping:
Students completed strategy maps for their sourcing and distribution plans in their second business plan teams. Rehima's team presents logistics regarding a youth and small business oriented advertising firm while Barbra's team proposes a company which produces inexpensive insect repelling candles for tables at local restaurants
Thursday July 15th - Auto Repair:
Students spent time learning the principles underlying Diesel and Gasoline internal combustion engines and then took apart engine blocks of each to gain practical knowledge about their operation and repair. Local mechanics were kind enough to allow students to disassemble the front end of a Volkswagon Golf. This allowed them to learn about all the components in a car, their purpose and how to repair their most common problems. Barbra was our star mechanic!
Wednesday July14th - Maggie Kigozi:
Dr. Maggie Kigozie, former marketing director of Pepsico Africa and current executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority (which controls all domestic and foreign investment in the country) took an hour out of her busy day to share stories as well as discuss the students' companies, growing sectors of interest to her organization and launching strategies.
Monday July 12th - Tax Specialist:
Obed Tindyebwa - Certified Ugandan accountant came to discuss with students various legal frameworks for incorporation of their companies as well as their tax obligations in each structure. While this could have been as interesting as watching water boil he held a lively and entertaining 3 hr discussion.
Sunday July 11th - Scary:
Two bombs just exploded less than a mile from the compound. Everyone is fine but shaken.
Sunday July 11th - 1st B-plan competition:
Teams present their solutions to the challenge "Build a company which can function as a profitable business which in some way addresses Uganda's energy needs." Isaac's Team focused on micro hydro turbine technologies while Nassuru's team looked at using agricultural waste and other plant matter to produce biomass energy. For a first business presentation I thought they did an excellent job but there is certainly a lot of room for growth.
Saturday July 10th - Welding:
Students got down and dirty stick welding behind a local market to learn the differences between good and bad metal work as well as what services these roadside craftsmen offer. The professionals who do this day in and day out just wear sunglasses.
Friday July 9th - Bridge Building Competition:
Students discussed material properties as well as what goes into new and innovative designs. They then were divided into teams and provided with 1 roll of packing tape, 3 boxes of straws and newsprint to build a bridge 12 inches long. The winning design supported 69.3 lbs before deforming out of shape.
Thursday July 8th - John Hab'Imana:
Former Enterprise Uganda teacher and current business plan consultant John Hab'Imana stopped by the Strivers facility to offer his take on the qualities which make a successful Ugandan entrepreneur as well as to talk to students about business strategies.
Tuesday July 6th - Makerere University Prof Daisy:
Makerere University Professor of Economics Daisy Owomugasho came by to talk to students about life, small business and success
Friday July 2nd - Afternoon with the Mayor:
Mayor Sebegalla had us over to his house for three hours this afternoon to relate his story, and talk to about the businesses opportunities students plan to pursue in the future.
Thursday July 1st - Creative Challenges:
Spent the morning engaging in creative team problem solving activities. Nassuru is carrying Issac over "hot lava" in one challenge.
Wednesday June 30th - Posho Magnate:
Habib Tibrichu talks to the students about pulling himself up by his bootstraps to start several successful business with nothing but his creativity a guile. Very inspirational!
Monday June 28th - Rafting:
Students took a daytrip to raft the Nile in Jinja over some of the most technically challenging rapids in the world to learn risk taking, build teamwork and feel the exhilaration and accomplishment of getting over one's fears. Did I mention it was a blast too?
Sunday June 27th - Students Arrive:
Our six students, Isaac, Rehima, Barbra, Nassuru, Amos and Alfred arrived in Ntinda this afternoon dressed to the 9s. Really excited to be working with them for the next 6 weeks!
Saturday June 26th - Calm Before the Storm:
Busy shopping and preparing the house for tomorrow's arrival of students
Friday June 25th - Blog Kick Off:
We are launching the Strivers blog so that everyone not here in Uganda can follow along with the BLP process!