Popular Posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Entrepreneurship in Uganda

What is Entrepreneurship? Mr. Bitature argues that it is a burning desire, a passion for fixing a gap that you see in society. In the last few days, our class visited an open air market as well as Mr. Bitature, an Entrepreneur of the cellphone and energy industries, to explore the different styles of economic development in Uganda. The open air market shows the majority of the economic situation in Uganda which is a perfectly competitive market with little to no product differentiation. Mr. Bitature's cellphone and energy market can be described as an oligopoly (few businesses in competition for all of the market). His style of business is known for his ability to find a need and be the first to the market and to capitalize on the industry to succeed. He told us about most of the disparities of Uganda and the importance of Entrepreneurs employing more people into the workforce for more economic development, as well as children being nourished correctly for early adolescence to help the economy flourish. The most interesting topic that was brought up in his presentation was the importance of people having a good moral (MQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) for not only the individual to thrive but for the country to succeed as a whole. To bring things into perspective, he said that Uganda is in the condition that the United States was at 100 years ago and it is their country's job to lead itself in the direction of countries like the United States which all starts with the younger generations.


Considering that corruption is a big problem in Ugandan society, do you think that Patrick ever was involved in corrupt business deals in order to make it by in the culture of business?

Do you agree with the importance MQ and EQ for success in a society?


  1. Great post and question about corruption. I do believe that Patrick could have possibly been involved with corruption but would say that it would be hard for him to still be involved in corruption today. Since he was born into a wealthy family but lost his father due to Idi Amin killing him, he had to provide for his family at a young age. He could have turned to corruption in order to provide for himself and his family. However, it is hard for him to still be involved with corruption since he holds positions within the United Nations and in the oil industry.

  2. Very intriguing question about Patrick and great summary of the event. I would like to think that Patrick is not involved in corruption because he presents himself as a very respectable and hardworking individual. It was inspiring to listen to him talk about hard work and good morals and ethics, which would all be tarnished if he was involved in corruption. I think MQ and EQ are very important for success in society, especially in small businesses. In the United States, if someone owns a small business they are especially polite to their customers so that they keep coming back. They go out of their way to make a lasting impression. In Uganda, it seems people use the same tactic. Evelyn, the elephant pant lady, was very nice to us and accommodating. If she would have been more stand offish, then she would have made less of a profit. A great entrepreneur move is being able to sell your products at hostels and hotels with tourists. The bead lady makes good money selling jewelry to tourists at Red Chilli; Evelyn and Bob also have ins to sell pants and soccer jerseys to tourists who are looking to spend money on souvenirs.

  3. I am aware that Patrick imported cane sugar from other countries and sold it to companies to make profit (which was prohibited) when sugar was low in Uganda. Many people would agree that that was corrupt. In my opinion, every successful business man has gotten his/her hands dirty at one point or another. This is a usual happening when capitalism is in place. To me, Mr. Bitature is focused on helping the people of Uganda with his business which he has done through his cell hone company and his energy plant. Although he has practiced corruption, he is held by his moral conscious to help others rather than exploit them which is admirable. I was most impressed when he talked about MQ as essential. I don't think that it is essential to success because success can come from amoral occupation. I do think that it is a quality that insures for positive development of a country. Morality cannot be taught at just any age. It is important to instill it when children are young so that they can use it in the future. For sustainable development that includes social inclusion, environmental protection, and economic development, there needs to be an equal appreciation for equity, viability, and bearability which can only be find when people are taught that those concepts are important.

    1. Hi Ayana, I found your comment very interesting. I think the fact that he was indeed corrupt in some ways but also is a good business man that is helping people is very intriguing. I think that although it is not ideal, sometimes that capitalist system forces business people to engage in sketchy business practices in order to stay on top, which isn't necessarily their fault and doesn't make them bad people.

  4. Great summary and interesting questions Karl! I agree with Ayana in that businessmen/businesswomen who have become vastly successful have likely been involved in some kind of corruption at one point. This is unfortunate, but I appreciate that he discussed the importance of EQ and MQ on top of IQ for success in society. I think this model of entrepreneurship is the most sustainable. Entrepreneurship, and more specifically opportunity entrepreneurship, creates jobs which can help fix the unemployment issue Mr. Bitature touched on. It promotes equity through increasing economic development and social inclusion.

  5. Great post and intriguing questions, Karl! To address the question of the importance of EQ and MQ in a successful society, I think they are essential for laying a solid foundation from which businesses and economies can grow. The reason for this being, a low emotional strength and understanding will not foster business deals, and corruption will slow developing economies considerably. Once this foundation is developed however, I think MQ and EQ would play a little bit less of a role in keeping the economy growing. It sounds like Ayana had some information on whether Bitature was involved in corrupt/illegal business deals, so I will base my answer off of her information. If Bitature was indeed involved in a corrupt or illegal business deal, it sounds like he was at least fulfilling a need in Uganda. In my opinion, all entrepreneurs must fill a need through their ventures in order to be considered an entrepreneur (contrary to the two definitions we discussed in the course). Corruption aside, it would seem that Bitature has contributed to each of the three pillars of sustainable development and for that, I would deem him a successful entrepreneur. First, he makes an attempt at social inclusion through his telephone ventures, which keep communities connected. People in Uganda continue to have easier access to telephones, and I think this is an important communication technology. Second, he fosters economic development through his multiple ventures and contributions to the Ugandan economy. Finally, through his energy ventures he is able to have an impact on environmental stewardship, but we have yet to see whether the impact will be a positive or negative one.

  6. Thank you for your post! Patrick's vast knowledge and understanding of the capitalistic environment as well as his successes are clear indicators that he has been a part of a variety of aspects related to business. I think in one way or another he has been involved in corruption, yet I would be surprised if his reasons were ill intentioned and strayed away from benefiting the Ugandan community. In order to enhance his standing and be able to give back, Patrick, especially in the beginning of his career, might have had to give in to corrupt behavior for a greater payout later. In regards to your second question, I absolutely agree with the importance of MQ and EQ. When hiring a person, you are not only hiring them for their intellectual capabilities, but for who they are as a whole person. This includes their moral compass, their ability to handle difficult or stressful situations, and their empathetic nature, just to name a few examples. Before this presentation, I had never heard of MQ or EQ. Seeing its value and importance makes me question why it has not been implemented in the US on a greater scale.