JuFresh Enterprise is the name of a student enterprise made up of five young dynamic students pursuing MSc. Agri-Enterprises Development at Gulu University in Northern Uganda. The enterprise which started operating in November 2018 at Gulu University is venturing into producing a variety of fresh fruit juice and fruit salads. JuFresh Enterprise also engages with fruits producer’s organizations on contract basis to supply fruits as a way of reducing post-harvest loss, improving farmers’ income, alleviating key micronutrients deficiencies, improving food security and boosting the level of investments of fruit the processing sector.
The fruits range from avocado, passion fruit, watermelon, pineapple, as well as fruit salads. And are presented in convenient packaging, sizes, quantity and affordable price hence meeting the growing demands for safe and healthy juice free of preservatives. Currently, the group serve the entire majority of the student fraternity and staff of Gulu University.
The team members are Okello Robine the general manager, Alla Houessou Jemima the accountant, Aciro Lucy sales and marketing manager, Omara Henry the production manager and Amolo Herbert the Quality assurance manager. They also currently employ one female youth to help in sales and hope to employ more youth as the business expands with the goal of reducing youth unemployment.
What works better? Agri-entrepreneurship model inspired us
The inspiration to make dreams come true started after we joined Gulu University for our Master’s in Agri-Enterprises Development in 2017. During the very first entrepreneurship lecture, Our Lecturer opened with this phrase “money defecates money”– narrates Okello Robine the general manager and Team Leader of the group. He says that this meant that one should put money in a business to make more money.
The Gulu University Student Enterprise Scheme (SES) Model
At Gulu University specifically the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment has a well-articulated designed Agri-entrepreneurship model that exhibit practical approach of Agri-entrepreneurship training branded as the Student Enterprise Scheme (SES) in which students work as a group to develop, defend, implement and evaluate agribusiness plans. It was from this hub that we were guided and supported with funds on credit to actualize economically viable and commercially sound business plans. The model also allow students to get connected to credit and micro-finance initiatives to enhance their entrepreneurial success. Action taken by the department of Rural Development and Agribusiness partner with the Agripreneurship Alliance allowed sponsorship for all students pursuing MSc. Agri-enterprises Development at Gulu University to pursue an online course offered by the African Management Initiative (AMI) on “How to write an agribusiness plan” for one month.
In 2018, the Agripreneurship Alliance put up a competition with a prize of $1,000 for the best business plan during the course. JuFresh Team took part in the competition and emerged as the best group selected from Gulu University, Uganda. Because of the potential of the business, the prize money was topped up by the faculty with funding from the Student Enterprise Scheme (SES) project at Gulu University further supported by RUFORUM-MASTERCARD Foundation. The student enterprise loan scheme worth Uganda shillings two million was given to Jufresh Enterprise and expected to be paid back in a period of one year. These sources of finance enabled JuFresh to start the enterprise since it allowed them acquire the basic assets like a juice cooler, blender and the raw materials. They hope to pay back within the shortest period possible as their business is registering increased sales on a daily.
Our average, their daily sales amount to Ugx 120,000/= with pocket friendly prices of juice ranging from 1000ugx to 2000ugx
Jufresh Enterprises future plan
In five years’ time, they hope to expand the enterprise to include fruit drying to reduce on fruit wastage during bumper harvest. They plan to then add value by chaning the dried fruits into powder to with a more prolonged shelf life. The group belives in Skills sharing and therefore plans to introduce business clinics at Gulu University campus where at least 20 students per academic year will be nurtured on various business aspects along fruits value chain. Additionally, in the long run, their vision is to commercialise this business by using bottles for packaging the fresh fruit juices for sale at national and international markets across the great Lakes regions.
- Watch Jufresh team on award winning ceremonies follow the link below at https://www.theagripreneur.org/interviews-video-resources
- Like the Facebook Page Jufresh Enterprises at https://www.facebook.com/jufreshenterprise/