SF Bay Area

First Person: Raising a glass to ‘Mama Cheers’

First Person: Raising a glass to 'Mama Cheers' | | UN News
Delight Uganda Limited Julian Omalla (centre right) with her employees at Delight Uganda Limited.
This is story about how one small business can make a difference in their local community with government partnerships for sustainable development. A Ugandan woman entrepreneur who was left with just a wheelbarrow and a red dress, when a business partner ran off with all her money has been recognized with an award by the UN trade agency (UNCTAD) after she grew her company into a nationwide enterprise with five million customers.

Julian Omalla, who is widely known as “Mama Cheers” after the popular juice brand “Cheers” that her company Delight Uganda produces, is now planning to expand with the construction of a new factory in the north of the country.

“When I launched my company, Delight Uganda Limited, in 1996, I didn’t know much about running a business. I started it from scratch, and had to overcome many challenges.

I remember walking for many kilometres, on bad roads, and working in my garden from morning to night. One of the low points came when my business partner ran off with all of the money I had raised to buy stock. All I had left was a wheelbarrow, to take fruit to market, and one red dress!

I couldn’t get any banks to finance my business, because I didn’t have any collateral, so raising funds to expand was an uphill task. Like most women in Uganda, I had to rely on savings and invest my profits back into the company.

Ugandan entrepreneur Julian Omalla has built a fresh juice business with more than five million customers.
Delight Uganda Limited
Ugandan entrepreneur Julian Omalla has built a fresh juice business with more than five million customers.

A born entrepreneur

Four years later I joined UNCTAD’s programme for entrepreneurs, which helped me develop and execute my business growth plan. The course improved my self-confidence, and learned new skills, such as goal setting, bookkeeping, marketing, setting targets and working efficiently to meet them. It made me realize that am a born entrepreneur.

Over the years, I stayed in contact with my trainers, and honing my entrepreneurial skills. I kept asking questions to help me improve my business, even on the weekends!

Thanks to my determination, and the skills I’d learned, I grew the company to the extent that, at one point, we had 60 per cent of the juice market in Uganda, with a processing line producing 12,000 litres of fruit-flavoured drinks per day. We also diversified into other business activities, such as poultry farming, maize-feed production, a flour mill and a bakery.

Julian Omalla has built a thriving juice business in Uganda.
Delight Uganda Limited
Julian Omalla has built a thriving juice business in Uganda.

Sharing the success

We used to important juice concentrate, because it was hard to source high-quality, locally grown fresh fruit. But, in 2011, the company acquired 1,700 acres of land for cultivating fruit trees, such as mangoes, guavas and citruses and organised the Nwoya Fruit Growers Cooperative, which has 5,000 members, most of them (3,750) women.

Each of these women has at least one acre of fruit orchard intercropped with short-term seasonal crops for income and sustainability. In a season, they can earn up to $1,850 from an acre of land. And, through the Delight Farm Institute, we create new and decent jobs, and offer improved livelihoods to many.

New factory, new horizons

This year, we received $10 million in funding from the Ugandan government, which will allow us to build a modern fresh juice factory, allowing us to add value to the fruits grown by the local farmers, and meet growing market demand for dried fruits, particularly mangoes.

Winning the UNCTAD award has motivated me so much! I plan to create a centre of excellence, where academics can share their knowledge, helping us to reach international standards, and export our products to all corners of the world.

I think the reason that we have succeeded is our engagement with the community. People in northern Uganda suffered so much during the civil war, and I believe that our success will help them to be empowered, and to survive.”

Fresh fruit, such as mangoes, are sourced from local farmers in Uganda.
Delight Uganda Limited
Fresh fruit, such as mangoes, are sourced from local farmers in Uganda.

An example of empowerment

  • In February 2021, the Ugandan Government awarded Ms. Omalla’s company, Delight Uganda Limited, a $4 million grant to construct a fresh juice factory in northern Uganda, and $6 million to procure equipment, with 50 per cent of the funds repayable by her company in 10 years.
  • Ms. Omalla is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Uganda. In 2020, she won a special prize during the seventh edition of UNCTAD’s Empretec Women in Business Awards for her dedication to empowering other women through her company.
  • Ms. Omalla also received a fellowship to participate in an executive education programme by the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland

UN News: 5 June 2021

 

 

cp_banner
CodePink is a women's grassroots-initiated, worldwide organization of women and men working for peace, social justice and a green economy. CodePink SF serves the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.


 

Actions
Dec
3
Fri
5:00 PM Friday Peace Vigil Back on the S... @ In front of MLK Library
Friday Peace Vigil Back on the S... @ In front of MLK Library
Dec 3 @ 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Friday Peace Vigil Back on the Street. @ In front of MLK Library
End Endless War Remaining silent is not an option. We can either have a culture of complicity, or a culture of resistance. With no public opposition we will have a culture of complicity. Public acts[...]
5:30 PM People’s Assembly, Nancy Pelosi’...
People’s Assembly, Nancy Pelosi’...
Dec 3 @ 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
People's Assembly, Nancy Pelosi's house
Dec. 3, 5:30pm   People’s Assembly, Nancy Pelosi’s house, 2640 Broadway, SF.  5:30 pm Dinner, 6pm People’s Assembly, Extinction Dance Party, Letter Delivery to Pelosi. People’s Assemblies are an Extinction Rebellion Demand because the people can’t leave it up to a[...]
Gatherings
Dec
3
Fri
12:00 PM Dance of Peace Class Municipal R...
Dance of Peace Class Municipal R...
Dec 3 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Dance of Peace Class Municipal Rose Garden.
Join Khalilah Ramirez, the Peace Dancer, for the Dance of Peace class at the Municipal Rose Garden (at Dana and Naglee) San Jose. Dance & Play among the flowers! You will learn how to create[...]
Dec
4
Sat
9:00 AM Peaceful Yoga w/Khalilah @ Online
Peaceful Yoga w/Khalilah @ Online
Dec 4 @ 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Peaceful Yoga w/Khalilah @ Online
Description This is a morning yoga class focused on strengthening, calming and centering the body, mind and spirit. No prior experience in yoga is required. Link To All Classes: Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3090894469… Meeting ID:[...]
Dec
7
Tue
5:00 PM Capital Calling Party: Abolish t...
Capital Calling Party: Abolish t...
Dec 7 @ 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Capital Calling Party: Abolish the Space Force!
  On Tuesday, December 7, join CODEPINK Congress as we say NO to U.S. full spectrum dominance of the air, sea, land, and now SPACE! The U.S. Space Force was established under Trump through the FY2020 National Defense[...]

PinkBridgeDivider

 

WORLD

PinkBridgeDivider

ARTS

PinkBridgeDivider

GREEN ECONOMY

PinkBridgeDivider

From our National Site

The national CodePink organization organizes for justice for Iraqis and to hold war criminals accountable. CodePink actively opposes the U.S. war in Afghanistan, torture, the detention center at Guantanamo, weaponized and spy drones, the prosecution of whistleblowers, U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and repressive regimes.

Rooted in a network of local organizers, CodePink's tactics include satire, street theatre, creative visuals, civil resistance, and directly challenging powerful decision-makers in government and corporations. And, of course, wearing pink!