Impact Stories & Blogs
Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.
By Ronald Hakiza, Uganda (Cohort 1)
The world in this 21st century has gone digital in all aspects including the transport industry and no one can afford to be left behind. This is why I founded Ugabus Ltd, an e-ticketing company that enables travelers within East Africa to buy bus tickets online, providing secure mobile money and Visa card payment options and enabling customers to avoid long queues at bus stations.
My company never generated profit since foundation until a year later after I went through the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa program, which transformed me. I learned about customer-centered solutions in the design thinking class at the Center and re-evaluated my approach to identify what problem my business needed to address.
There is an enormous number of travelers every day and no efficient system that allows them to move to their destinations. This was my opportunity to connect travelers to the available travel agencies across East Africa online. Finding the niche in the market and having a clear business model unlocked many doors in my business. The YALI RLC EA leadership development program and the opportunities one gets after going through the Center are the miracle I needed to move the mountains in my path to entrepreneurship. At the Center, I was able to crystalize my business idea and made it a company soon after my commencement. I then got a chance to be part of the Citi Bank Foundation funded Business Skills Immersion Program (BSI), a partnership between the Center, Deloitte and the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF).
The training at the Center, coupled with the experience I got at the BSI project, gave me insightful knowledge on pitching for business. I therefore changed my approach to investors and partners, leading to UgaBus.com being Uganda’s largest integrated online bus ticketing portal. The portal has brought together 76% of bus transport operators across Uganda under a single window, thus facilitating users to plan their bus travel across East Africa with ease. I have provided employment to five people so far, and I hope to employ more as my company grows.
In all my progress, I recognize that there’s really no succeeding without sharing and transforming other lives. I have made it my personal mission to always send the elevator down for other young aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs in the society and all over Africa.