The soft drinks market in northern Uganda is currently dominated by industrially processed, carbonated drinks. The more health conscious consumers have high demand for freshly processed fruit juice. Realizing this market niche, a group of four students MSc. Agrientreprise development pursuing from Gulu University took up this business opportunity and start processing fresh natural fruit juices, under the brand name, the nector point. With financing from the agribusiness incubation hub of Gulu University, we received UGX 4,000,000(US$ 1,100) to start up the business. Our primary target market is the corporate working-class people, working in universities, NGOs, financial institutions and government civil servants. includes Boba-Boda cyclist, Gulu University staff and students, and civil servants, financial institutions, market venders. Nectar point also supplies fresh juices for events such as weddings and marriage functions.
From the start, the business was profitable, with daily net profits of at least Shs. 20,000=, equating to net profits of Shs. 600,000=. However, the outbreak of covid-19, and the subsequent five-month lockdown almost put an end to our business venture. This was a devastating scenario because it was uncalculated uncertainty anyone had ever thought of. As a result, sales went down from a daily profit from shs 20,000 to less than Shs. 5,000. The easing of the lockdown from July-2020, and the emphasis on the need for people to take Vitamin C as a means of boosting immunity, became advantageous to our juice business as health personnels were encouraging people to take a lot of fresh juice. As a result, we refocused our marketing and promotional strategies and focused of emphasizing the health benefits of consuming vegetable and fruits juices such as immune boosting. Currently, we are able to make a net daily profit of 100,000(2,800,000 monthly).
As we complete our Masters from Gulu university, we now plan to develop an online app for selling fresh juice within Gulu city. We are also expanding our product lines to include ice cream and coffee. Additionally, we have opened 4 juice selling points within Gulu City.
Through this business, we have been able to create jobs for community youth, we currently employ 5 out of school youths(4 girls and a boy). As students’ entrepreneurs, we have been able to acquire relevant business skills and experience needed to operate business individually, and with the experience we will be able to open and operate own businesses and create jobs in our communities. We are therefore grateful to the faculty of Agriculture and environment for giving us the training, funding and the business mentorship. We would always be thankful for this immense opportunity.
Business Team: Ochama Juliet, Kut Joseph Aluong, Okumu Peter, Kichican David