Those who know Andrew Mugisha know him for his loyalty, that’s why it’s not surprising when he speaks about his commitment to his t-shirt brand business.
“Mumaaso Awo” translated “just ahead” is an urban slang used among taxi touts in Kampala; it’s the name he chose as a brand for his t-shirt business.
Having toyed with an idea of designing a simple t-shirt and trying it out, only for everybody to like it, Andrew chose to experiment more and has never looked back ever since. Whereas the 30 year old was prompted by a compassion cause to start his business, it now puts food on his table.
When he started out in 2013, all he had was 300,000 in capital and a Facebook page (which is supposedly free). One of his early stalls was set up at the annual Mitchel bazaar in Makerere, and his momentum has not stopped since then. He currently boasts of a number of stores including one on Kaymu – one of Uganda’s fastest growing online stores.
For a man whose profit margin often ranges from 5000-7000 per t-shirt, the dream of formal employment which had taken him through employment stints in an Indian signage company and an IT firm, he saw “formal employment” as a place of no growth, routine and later resigned to start a t-shirt brand business.
This experience makes him share his thoughts about formal employment, cautioning those contemplating self-employment to consider the reason for their resigning.
“If you are going to do something you love, have enough capital and put it aside first and start, but if you really love something and the capital is not enough then (still) go ahead and do it because you already have half of what it takes: you either have the capital or the passion.”
Andrew also notes that one of the reasons that has kept him from despairing out of business is the “God-factor” and the love for what he does.
“I have full support from the father” he remarks. His counsel to entrepreneurs is precise “Leaders exploit the resources they have, servants are told about the resources they have, have self-discipline about your resources, for example, time and people.”
“I mean, you have electricity and internet, exploit that. How are you using your resources, get disciplined around the resources God has given and you will make a fortune out of them. ”