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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Entrepreneurship in Uganda

We had the opportunity to learn from one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Uganda, Patrick Bitature. Patrick began his influence in Uganda by founding Simba Telecom, one of the largest cellular service providers in Uganda. He chose to enter the telecom industry to satisfy the basic need of communication with the goal of making phones more accessible to more people. Since the success of his telecom business, Patrick has involved himself in a variety of industries such as property(hotels, office blocks, and apartments), electricity/power, education, agriculture, and micro finance, We also were able to see some of his work in motion when we visited the building site for Patrick's new hotel called Naguru Skyz. 

Our discussion with Patrick involved challenges faced by Uganda as a whole as well as what he and the Simba Group have done to create movement in each of the challenges. Here are some key notes that I took away from our conversation with Patrick:

  • Basic or already existing businesses can be the biggest opportunities. A successful business doesn't necessarily have to be innovative, but rather start with an existing concept and perform better service. 
  • We need to see the importance of creating jobs beyond supplying people with an income. 
  • One of the biggest opportunities in Uganda is Agribusiness.
What an incredible opportunity to learn from such an influential player not only in the business world but also in the Ugandan economy. It was intriguing to hear Patrick's view on what the biggest challenges are in Uganda and how to address them as well as how to be a successful entrepreneur. 


  1. I can honestly say that meeting Patrick was one of the most humbling days I have had here in Uganda. He spoke with such honesty and sincerity about his life, the trials and tribulations he endured, and his path to success. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to speak with him, as well as exchange and attain his business card. Paige, intriguing is correct when you speak of Patrick and his views. I am hopeful that Patrick and I can remain in contact with him in the future.

  2. It was incredible seeing what he has been doing for people of Uganda and growing businesses in so many sectors. His new hotel looked fantastic too even though it was only half finished!

  3. Paige, you did a great job summarizing our time with Patrick. He told his story with a great balance between his work and his life. It was incredibly fascinating listening to him speak about how to become an entrepreneur, you don't have to invent a product- you just have to make life better for someone. This could include good customer service, nice products, etc. He is contributing to sustainable development in so many ways and I can't wait to hear what this outstanding man is doing in the future!

  4. Well said Paige, I think Patrick's talk was very informational and inspiring. One important thing that he talked about, too, was diversifying your business. He realized that to keep being successful and making money that it would be a smart business choice to diversify the industries that he worked in. I think as we talk about sustainability, diversification is extremely, so that you don't have all of your eggs in one basket, and it allows you to have more security with your assets.