INTERVIEW: Allan Mwesigwa liberates himself from poverty through making briquettes and energy-saving stoves

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Allan Mwesigwa, a 32-year-old resident of Gita-Nabutaka village in Nangabo town council, Wakiso district, has turned adversity into opportunity through his entrepreneurial journey.

From facing the challenge of abandoning his studies in animal production due to the untimely death of his sponsor to being incapacitated after a boda-boda accident, Mwesigwa’s resilience led him to establish a successful business in briquette and energy-saving stove production.

His inspiration came during his recovery period, while working in a brooder and witnessing the excessive use of charcoal. This experience ignited the idea of making briquettes from plant materials, leading him to delve into research and experimentation to develop his venture.

Briquettes manufactured from plant based materiels and other environmentally friendly materials.

Environmental conservation is at the core of Mwesigwa’s business ethos. Utilizing plant-based materials and collecting waste from the environment, including metal scraps for eco-stoves, he actively contributes to preserving the environment.

A turning point in his journey came when he attended a financial literacy training session by Equity Bank, where he learned about the Youth Loan products. With the support of his group members and a credit officer, he secured a loan of Shs1,500,000, which catalyzed the growth of his business.

Investing in a solar dryer and purchasing more raw materials with the loan enabled Mwesigwa to significantly increase his production capacity. What began as a modest operation now churns out 1000 briquettes daily, thanks to subsequent loans that facilitated further expansion and diversification of his product line.

Energy-saving stoves.

Employment opportunities have also grown within his community, with Mwesigwa now providing steady jobs to four young people and three casual laborers.

Through prudent management, his capital has grown from Shs2,000,000 to Shs25,000,000, enabling him to invest in essential machinery and equipment to enhance efficiency.

Mwesigwa expresses gratitude to Equity Bank for their partnership, acknowledging their timely intervention in addressing his capital needs and empowering him to realize his entrepreneurial dreams.

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