With just a few minutes for the event to begin, I barely managed to get a seat at the packed venue for the “Pearls for her” event. The garden was abuzz with the vibrant voices of Uganda’s future- young, hungry and fierce female entrepreneurs.
Some still at the idea phase of their dream businesses, looking to network and learn some valuable nuggets of wisdom from their peers. Others, already seasoned entrepreneurs hoping to learn something new.
The group of panelists took their seats on the stage, all of them highly respected young female entrepreneurs ready to share their stories- the good, the bad and the ugly with an eagerly waiting crowd.
This scene has been repeated many times at different events organized by Pearls for her- an organization that supports, educates and encourages female entrepreneurs in Uganda through their seminars, panel discussions, and networking events.
Rowena Lubowa and Dushiime Kaguliro – the founders of ‘Pearls for her’– share their fascinating story and insights on how they came to build such an amazing brand.
On how their entrepreneurial journey began…
We felt like there was a gap in the market for women empowerment platforms and there was a need for more events that focused on developing women.
We wanted to create networking spaces so we could help and learn from each other.
The most valuable business lesson learned so far…
The importance of planning ahead, a lot of our business is event-based and this has taught us that you can never foresee all the things that can go wrong.
Starting small and letting the business grow– you learn as you grow which has the added advantage of allowing you to manage all the work as the business grows.
Their motivation to support female entrepreneurs…
‘Pearls for her’ supports all women, not just entrepreneurs. We live in a world where women are constantly pitted against each other. Where women feel like there aren’t enough safe spaces for them.
‘Pearls for her’ wants to change all that and ensure women can learn, grow and support each other. Its a space where our voices can be heard and valued.
The biggest challenge faced while growing the brand…
Balance. Learning to balance our careers, private businesses and ‘Pearls for her. We’ve also learned to balance what we want for the brand and what the market wants.
One advice for female entrepreneurs in Africa and abroad…
You can have it all, just not on the same day, at the same time.
That, however, should not stop you from being everything and doing everything you want to do.
If you could be mentored by any woman in the world, who would it be and why?
Ava DuVernay– She decided to be a director in her 30’s and is redefining storytelling in Hollywood.
She is unapologetically herself and has chosen to tell black stories at a higher standard. There is so much to learn from her and her story.
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