Utilizing The Lockdown Period to Generate Tuition

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By Isaac Akugizibwe

Emmanuel attending to a customer

Whereas other students left for their respective homes following the 30-day suspension of institutions against COVID-19, Emmanuel Kahwa, a student of Public Administration at KIU, stayed behind to run his Mobile Money business in Kansanga, from where he derives part of his tuition.

Emmanuel says that the Mobile Money business is one of the most flexible start-ups university students can venture into during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and even afterwards since it takes less space and doesn’t require a lot of capital to start on top of it being so essential in a period like this.

“The Mobile Money business is suitable in a period like this because it is essential and requires less capital to start,” Emmanuel says. “I think it is one of the most flexible business ventures for campuses.”

According to Emmanuel, one needs at least 2 Million UGX to start their own Mobile Money company, or one can hire agent lines which range between 50,000 UGX and 60,000 UGX depending on the company one chooses to subscribe to. 

He adds that Mobile Money business favours partnerships in case of limited capital and used his own example of when he partnered with his friend, Alfred Kansande with whom they raised the initial capital to start their Mobile Money company, Kaskiz Telcom Limited.

“Finding a place or location of the business is rather difficult, but in a student environment like Kansanga, most places near the main road and hostels are favourable,” says Emmanuel’s business partner, Alfred Kasande.

He adds that places with many people will always be more productive than less densely populated ones. Alfred further stipulates that places near junctions, markets, parks, and stages are capable of good business.

“If one is friendly, he or she can even talk to a shopkeeper or owner and use their verandah for a small fee or sometimes for free depending on their relationship,” Emmanuel says. 

He adds that the current KCCA fee differs from place to place depending on how much space the business consumes but most times, he says, they charge between 40,000 and 50,000 UGX per month when the business is independent.

Apart from the startup capital and identifying of the location, there are other requirements that must be fulfilled for the venture to operate as either a corporate company or a mere business.

“You have to first apply for mobile agent lines from all the telecom companies you subscribe to before any other thing,” Emmanuel says.

Emmanuel explains that here is a form that must be filled in the presence of a lawyer in case you are registering as a company. The lawyer then oversees the company registration process and documentation, and that’s why, according to Emmanuel, one has to choose a lawyer they trust.

A Certificate of Registration is issued upon finishing up the documentation process, and the company is declared free to operate under a selected name that no other company or business uses elsewhere.

Emmanuel and Alfred derived the name ‘Kaskiz Telcom Limited’ from a combination of their names. They also sell a number of mobile accessories like headsets, phone covers, and batteries among others, from where they have been getting money for rent, food, and tuition since 2018 when they started. 

“I have been getting tuition and rent from this business,” Emmanuel says as he smiles. “Look, I even gained exposure to the business world.”

Emmanuel Kahwa, unlike his colleague who wants to do other businesses in the nearby future, is looking forward to becoming a master agent in Money Transfer Services after completing his undergraduate degree.

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