Florence, Farming Uganda

“I started this business because I did not have enough money to care for my six children, three orphans who are deaf and three relatives. I do not pity myself because I am a deaf woman, a widow and a single mother. I am able to do anything and I am proud that I can support my children and send them to school. You know, the joy of a woman is to be able to support the needs of her children”, says Florence, who started a poultry farm after leaving her job as a copy typist with the Uganda Electricity Board. Cattle, pigs and goats are the most recent additions to her farming business.


Florence started the poultry business in 1989 with some seed capital, 100 chicks and assistance to build a bird shed provided by Oxfam. As her business began to grow, she was able to secure a loan from Uganda Women’s Finance and Credit Trust (UWFCT) to buy more birds. With the loan, she also received some training on bookkeeping, managing income and expenses. Her business has been growing steadily and she sometimes has trouble meeting customer demands, especially for the poultry products. She attributes much of her recent success to the business skills and knowledge she obtained from the ILO and the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) of which she is a member.


“Before the training, I used to have trays of eggs here and there. I did not have a market. I didn’t know how to attract customers. Now, I do not have a single tray. People who want my products are on a waiting list and this is because of the skills I have gained from FUE – training on how to Improve Your Business and how to Improve Your Exhibiting Skills. I also learned how to keep separate books for the different areas of my business. I now know how much income I have from each project, and how much I spend on each”.


Today, Florence employs three full-time workers, each one specializing in a different area of the farm’s business. She says she receives her best income from selling eggs. “At times, if it is a good month, I can get 1.5 million shillings. If things have not gone well, I can get 70,000 shillings” (approximately US$ 42 to US$ 885). Florence participated in ILO-Irish Aid supported services, activities and training for women-owned businesses.