My name is Canwat James. I am a 23 year old youth who was born in Mudur village in Paracere Parish, Ogili Sub-county Palabek, Lamwo district which I left many years ago due to rebel insurgency. I operate my business in Gulu main market (basement) where I sew buttons, print names and designs on clothes and also specialize in reducing cloth sizes to fit people. My aspiration is to open up a designer shop and to continue studying until I get a degree. I would also like to encourage all other youth and basically anybody that learning is a cornerstone for prosperity.
When BOSCO Uganda came to conduct a survey of my business, I did not take the interview very seriously but never the less I accepted to be interviewed in the hope that something good would come out of it.
After the survey, I was invited to attend a six-weeks training in entrepreneurship essentials. I was not sure what the training would involve. In the beginning the learners did not exhibit a high level of enthusiasm because no tangible benefit was promised beyond teaching business people how to do business which they already knew.
Never the less I attended the training from the beginning to the end. I do not regret attending the training because it has opened up my mind to greater thinking about how to do business.
I did not go far with my schooling. I completed my ordinary level and joined higher education but dropped out in senior five because my brother who was meeting the cost of my education could not continue. So I dropped out of school and joined my brother in his shop.
I started learning how to operate a sewing machine called an ‘Overlock’ while I was in primary school. One day when children were about to start the school calendar year of February 2011, there was a high demand for school uniforms and obviously buttons needed to be fitted. I was forced to learn how to sew buttons in only 30 minutes since I had experience with the Overlock machine. I was paid 7,000shs for a small job and it was one of the happiest moments in my life. Within a few weeks I was awarded a contract to sew buttons for UNIFAT primary school for three months.
From the savings I enrolled for a certificate course in purchasing and supply chain management in 2012. During my studies I hired out my machine to another tailor. My studies were again interrupted for a year when my father and mother fell sick and I had to contribute to their medical bills. They unfortunately passed on in a space of two months. In 2014 I was supported by my brother to buy a sewing machine of my own which had the ability to perform the dual task of sewing and button fitting.
The training opportunity offered by BOSCO Uganda in entrepreneurship essentials has helped to give me more insights into how to run my business.
I literally grew up in the market and so many people know me, and how social and honest I am. I also have a good speed and accuracy in doing my work. My future plans are to:
- Open up a designer ship for items that I make myself
- Buy an embroidery machine
- Complete my education in purchasing and supply management
My biggest challenge to attaining my dream is the limited capital because my savings are not adequate enough. I am hopeful that with the training offered by BOSCO Uganda and any other future support I can be able to overcome this challenge and grow my business.