Category: Uncategorized

How this Ugandan entrepreneur turned a CoVID-19 solution into a money-making idea

“Don’t be scared to make mistakes. Mistakes are the most important part of growth. If you don’t make mistakes, you won’t know what needs to be improved.”

Jackie katanga
What do you do when you are faced with a challenge? It depends— if you have an enterprising spirit, you see an opportunity to create a money-making solution. As the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic increase, many entrepreneurs are creating solutions and some of these are becoming viable businesses.
Jackie Katanga is one such entrepreneur. In 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was followed by calls to observe prevention procedures including constant handwashing with soap. For Jackie whose skin is fairly sensitive, regular handwashing resulted in extreme drying out and peeling of the skin because the soap she was using was too harsh on her hands.
Unfortunately, efforts to find gentler options did not yield results. She later realized that she was not the only one facing this challenge. Many of her friends were going through a similar situation.
This is when an idea struck!
“Make soap that, no matter how many times you washed your hands, they would remain moisturized, soft, and smooth.” Jackie’s journey into the cosmetics industry began.
Jackie shared her entrepreneurial journey with us in the following interview.
Collage: Who is Jackie Katanga?
Jackie Katanga: My name is Jackie Katanga, and I am a creative. Since 2012, I have deejayed at events, produced music, won a fashion modeling contest, a rap battle, and a scholarship to study Multimedia at Aptech Computer Education. I have taught life skills, Bible class, and even drama to primary school children. I have been to all four corners of Uganda, doing documentary photography, I have made music and music videos, and I have directed a documentary about bodabodas in Kampala. All this in 6 years. In 2018, I entered the new and exciting world of fashion design, making cloth accessories and on December 1, 2019, I accessorized an entire fashion show.
Collage: When did you start Umuti Beauty and what drove you?
Jackie Katanga: When COVID-19 hit, we were encouraged to wash our hands to prevent it from spreading. Washing my hands so many times a day dried them out they started to peel. I realized that the soap I was using was too tough on my hands. I decided that I wanted to make a soap that, no matter how many times I washed my hands, they would remain moisturized, soft, and smooth. This was the birth of Umuti Beauty.
Collage: What products or solutions are you offering?
Jackie Katanga: I have two main types of products. Products for oily skin, that solve problems such as persistent acne and products for dry skin, that solve problems of skin sensitivity and eczema. I make soap, lotion, oils, body butter, and exfoliating scrubs. I am currently working on an organic deodorant and perhaps later, a range of organic perfumes. I am dreaming, and I am dreaming big.
Collage: How is the journey so far?
Jackie Katanga: I have been getting great feedback. People send me thank you messages and tell their friends and families about the products. It is this encouragement that pushed me to get into lotions and oils and body butter. It’s quite exciting because I never thought I would be here. Before June of 2020, I would have laughed at the suggestion of making skincare products, even though I had horrible skin and no product had worked for me.
Collage: What have been some of your achievements? What have been the challenges?
Jackie Katanga: I received two offers from investors, but their terms and conditions were so unfavorable, and even though I had no capital to grow the business, I trusted that God would bring partners like College who respect the collaborative entrepreneurship process. It is exciting to see that my venture is being recognized as something worthwhile to invest in. That is a great start.
Collage: Where do you want Umuti Beauty to be in three years?
Jackie Katanga: In three years, Umuti Beauty will be a household name. Is it possible? Absolutely. I believe that when something is good, it catches on, and Umuti Beauty is that good. Of course, I am working crazy hard too.
Collage: Where can people find your products?
Jackie Katanga: If you live in Kampala and surrounding areas, you will not find the products. They will find you. We deliver to where you are. This is because of the way the products are made. We make the product in response to the client, often encouraging an appointment to figure out exactly what your specific skincare need is before making your product and sending it to you. This ensures that the product always works for you.
Collage: What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
Jackie Katanga: Don’t be scared to make mistakes. Mistakes are the most important part of growth. If you don’t make mistakes, you won’t know what needs to be improved.
Ask for feedback. The customer may not always be right, but at least you will know what they think of the product or service that you offer. It’s scary, but it is worth it, especially if you want to be in business for the long haul.
Ask for help. There’s someone out there looking for some way to give back. Let her help you. Mentoring, sharing a Facebook post, even making the product itself.

This story is a part of Collage’s documentation series that is showcasing Uganda’s makers and entrepreneurs. You can read more stories here. Visit our shop to see and support our work and the work of our makers.

Are you interested in learning more about Umuti Beauty and Jackie Katanga? Follow Umuti Beauty on Instagram @umutibeauty, on Facebook @umutibeauty and Twitter @jackiekatanga. You can also contact Jackie on +256784983197

We are hiring: business development and operations officer

Terms of Reference Business Development and Operations Officer

Status: This is a full-time position.

Location: Kampala, Uganda, with up-country travel

Level: Entry-level

Reports to: Collage Team Leader

About Collage

Collage is a hybrid enterprise that supports local creators and producers to enhance their competitiveness. Competitiveness to us means improving product quality, embracing innovative processes to reduce costs and realize efficiency, continuous learning, and business professionalism. We use three core strategies namely: driving market access through online and offline platforms where we showcase products of local creators; bespoke training initiatives and one-on-one mentoring and hand holding, and collective credit resources (through clusters).

We started full operations in January 2019 and have been intentionally seeking out young makers who are often unable to raise enough capital to rent traditional shops. Another key demographic that we target is stay at home moms who are interested in earning a side income to complement their families’.

Our Big Picture

We want to see a Uganda where the full potential of local producers and creators is fully harnessed towards economic transformation.

Our Intervention:

  • Builds their capacity to produce products or services that are competitive.
  • Increases their access to market and changes the narrative around locally made products.
  • Avails shared learning opportunities. Producers and creators are able to learn from each other through clusters. Also, through their clusters, they can benefit from the advantages that come with collective purchase of raw materials, collective bargaining and they are more attractive to creditors.
  • Influences policy reform by ensuring that the voices of local producers and creators is heard.
  • Provides a pathway to formalization of businesses.
  • Plugs the small people into the global economy through online marketing platforms.

Role Summary

The Business Development Associate will work closely with the Team Leader to consolidate gains made in:

  • Producer recruitment and engagement
  • Reseller recruitment
  • Building Collage operational systems and processes
  • Building the company’s brand and market base

Key Responsibilities

1. Business Development

  • Expanding existing revenue streams including through:
  • The implementation of the reseller strategy
  • Building a customer base for our marketing, branding and training programme
  • Streamlining our micro-loans programme
  • Supporting direct sales through offline and online promotion
  • Conduct periodic market research to identify demand gaps for business products and services and keep up to date with business development practices and industry trends.
  • Sourcing new local and international revenue streams, including through subscribing to popular offline and online selling platforms and through cultivating of corporate partnerships and partnerships with small-scale sellers.
  • Developing grant proposals and participating in relevant entrepreneurship competitions. The Associate will develop a calendar of grants, training programmes, accelerators, and competitions and will work with the rest of the team to develop winning concepts.

2. Operations

  • Support the Team Leader to finalize and implement the Collage 2021/23 strategy. The strategy is the overarching framework and will determine business direction until 2023.
  • Work closely with the sales and operations coordinator to streamline operations including coordination of producers.
  • Develop monthly plans and subsequent financial and narrative reports on company progress in as far as working towards set monthly targets.
  • Work with the Team Leader to develop and institutionalize business processes aimed at ensuring effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Be a Collage Ambassador by ensuring effective representation at relevant platforms and through sharing Collage work online and offline.
  • Support the capacity development of team members in new business development and operations.
  • Perform any other relevant duties assigned by the Team Leader.

Skills and Competencies

  • A bachelors degree in business administration and management, marketing, economics or related field.
  • A diploma in the afore mentioned fields with up to three years’ relevant experience is also acceptable.
  • At least a year of professional experience in areas relating to marketing, SME business development or experience working in a StartUp.
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, and use of social media platforms.
  • Ability to write and communicate clearly and analytically with excellent spoken and written English.
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to work under pressure, with minimum supervision.
  • A great team player that is open to working in a multi-cultural setting.

To Apply

Applications should be sent via e-mail to with Business Development and Operations Officer as the subject.

Deadline: 18th June 2020