My grandmother inspired me to establish a business enterprise in herbal medicine

Charles Muzahuura, CEO, Unai Research Company Ltd, Uganda

I was born in the family of Mr Katebarirwe Alfred in 1980 in Nyakatugunda Ndeija Rwampala (Uganda). We are a family of three sons and two daughters. I attained A-level certificate and diploma in business administration; I got an opportunity to work with a health organization in the names of Norland Industrial Health Group from China since 2015 up to date where I got skills in research, marketing, and innovation in quality herbal medicine. I started Unai Research Company Limited in 2016. I work with the National Council of Traditional Healers (NACOTH), I am the overseer of Unai Research Co. ltd. and an incubate at the PHARMBIOTRAC – Natural Products Business Incubator (PNPBI), supported by the RUFORUM Entrepreneurship Challenge Program (RECAP) funded by the Republic of Korea through the African Development Bank under the Sharing Innovations and Experiences from Korea for Higher Education Transformation in Africa (SIKET) Project.

My role model in entrepreneurship is Norland Industrial Healthy Group from China and Kazire Healthcare Products Ltd. In Mbarara city, I was inspired by my late grandmother Eddinurse Mutembeya who used herbal medicine to treat different human diseases.

Unai Research Co. Ltd herbal care products

Unai Research Co. Ltd focuses on the provision of quality herbal health care products to the people through research, innovation and education. My business idea came as a response to the persistent increase in the number of patients suffering from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and stomach ulcers. Even with the presence of modern medicines, patients suffering from such diseases continue to live in pain for the rest of their lives, yet there is abundance of traditional herbal medicine as a solution.

The primary target market for the company is selling quality herbal healthy products to people in the western region of Uganda where the company is situated. The secondary market will be the other regions and beyond the borders of Uganda. My marketing strategy involves sensitizing people through radio, television, newspapers, social media, signposts on the high ways, business cards and public gatherings. This business will increase my knowledge in herbal medicine research; improve my income and general family welfare. Further, my business will contribute to offering treatment to the people using quality herbal medicine and creating job opportunities to the entire community. Our success lies in the quality of our herbal products that have been used and tested for a long time. Based on individual patient testimonies to their fellow community members, our herbal products have been effective in relieving patients of pain.

I have experienced several challenges such as lack of adequate capital to invest in the business, the unstable national economy that affects the operations & activities of the company, and the limited land available for the establishment of medicinal gardens. In the next one year, I have a dream of setting up herbal medicine factory on my own land with a medicinal garden and transport facilities to enhance mobility and publicity of our products. I also dream to acquire more knowledge in research, financial management and administration to support me to become a well-established entrepreneur in my field.

I recommend that the university increases its support to the incubates through training, research guidelines and provide opportunities for show-casing our products. I thank RUFORUM for the opportunity but I strongly recommend them to facilitate more training in record keeping and financial management as well as to increase the funding support. I urge the African Development Bank to facilitate opportunities to access international markets for our quality herbal products and to provide more financial support. To the Government of Uganda, I encourage them to formulate and implement policies that favour entrepreneurship and business development for the youth like myself. To my fellow youth, I encourage you to have personal savings, to dream and to push yourselves to achieve your aspirations. I also encourage you to be part of the voice through showcasing their innovations by attending exhibitions and conferences.

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