My name is Asiimwe Allan. I am Ugandan. I am a second-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Science, taking statistics as my Major and mathematics as my minor, at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. I am 22 and work hand in hand with a team of five fellow hardworking students.
It was in August 2015, that I managed to attend a friend’s birthday at the university. While at this party, I realized that there was a high alcohol intake amongst fellow university students. I sadly looked at my friends getting wasted with the enormous amounts of alcohol they took in: glass after glass and bottle after bottle. It was at this exact moment that I developed a greater passion for fellow young people especially my fellow university students. I got a passion to transform lives and have an impact in my society. Each time I met my friends, my heart was on fire to do something. I teamed up with five fellow young men to form a transformation movement known as Coffee Max and we are growing stronger day by day.
Apart from being a profoundly sounding institution on the African continent, Makerere University is notorious of its overwhelming numbers of students: more than 45,000. This is where I come in to utilize this incredible ready market to explore the business opportunities within this vicinity that have not been realized as until now.
Therefore, my project is to start coffee vending at Makerere University using automated coffee-vending machines. Coffee-vending machines offer a wider variety of coffee beverages, which can serve consumers’ coffee interests. The project is aimed at developing a new generation of young people that continue to embrace and enjoy coffee in its full diversity. This will increase domestic coffee consumption amongst the young people and integrate more young people along activities in the coffee value chain.
Therefore, the availability of this under-utilized opportunity of a growing population escalates my motivation to engage in the coffee business. There has been a recorded growing trend of coffee consumption in the country over the decade. Also, the desire to popularize coffee as a trendy beverage among university students ultimately reduces alcoholism, and is very palatable and attractive to the youth. Furthermore, the strong passion to enhance hands on entrepreneurial skills for self-employment amongst fellow students that will reduce the overwhelming 83% youth unemployment rate in our country.
We intend to have vigorous coffee club at Makerere University that will be the talking and walking embodiment of coffee. This will be accompanied by trendy promotional materials for awareness creation of the endless attributes of coffee. We also look forward to exploiting on-line platforms as a way of steering up our sensitization programs. We also wish to register a business company to operationalize this idea.
Towards achieving this, we have engaged with the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) for experience building and idea mentorship. Further, we participated in the last year’s annual coffee festival in November that was organized by NUCAFE in conjunction with the Uganda Coffee Developed Authority (UCDA). We have also managed to draft the structure of the coffee club that only requires funding to start operating.
The presence of a large trendy middle class population around the proposed project area will provide a steady consumption base of coffee hence success of the project. The enduring partnership with NUCAFE, which has a wider range of experience and knowledge in coffee, will help us to overcome the likely challenges. A team of committed students ready to carry out various operational activities also backs up this project.
The business shall celebrate the enduring success by achieving enduring self-sustenance. This will include paying off its workers and running the day-to-day activities. Increase in company savings will also definitely deem business success. This will be accompanied with the registration of coffee max as a separate legal entity. Expansion of the coffee club at the university and coffee max acquiring more business investments such as more vending machines will also be an enormous measure of success.
However, the fundamental question of using the USD 5,000 grant can be addressed explicitly as follows:
Coffee vending machine USD 2,000
Promotional materials USD 300
Business company registration USDv300
Club establishment and marketing activities USD 1,000
Operations and start-up expenses USD 1,400
Blogpost and picture submitted by Asiimwe Allan (Uganda): asiimweallan76[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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