In Summary
  • A stay-at-home mother’s life is as hectic as that of a working mother. But with the current economy, a household is difficult to run on a single income.
  • That is why it is advisable to find a side hustle that one can incorporate in their daily schedule to earn an income, writes Joan Salmon.

Agatha Kyarisiima- Jewellery
It all started when my necklace broke and I fixed it using nothing but my teeth. I realised jewellery making is something I should explore. I contacted a friend whose cousin made and sold jewellery making equipment. She provided me with equipment that started me off.
My first client was a friend who wore my pieces to work which her boss, the ED of Federation of Uganda’s Employers liked and contacted me asking me to show her more of my work. When I took them to her office, she called everyone to the board room and all I had was bought. That opened my eyes to the fact that market was available.

I quit my job in December 2011 and over the years I have developed a niche around hair accessories. These have greatly worked for me because I know what is available on the market and what is not thus produce accordingly.
My goal was to see my bank account grow and I have achieved that. For the years, I have actively made jewellery, I have only re-invested a small portion of my earnings while keeping the rest away.

Doreen Mazakpwe Ssemujju - Meal plans
I had my first child in 2012 when I was working as a I was a study coordinator for an HIV/TB project being done by a Phd student but it was in 2013 when I came to a realisation that based on the kind of parenting I wanted to do, I needed to be there physically. I needed to influence the kind of life that my children would have and that went beyond providing. I needed to mentor them spiritually and physically, I was out to raise rather than grow my children.
I had also come to learn that children understand love through the amount of time you spend with them. Meal plans came about when my child turned six months and I was having challenges with finding out which foods were right and which one would wait for later. I was also battling with constipation, amount of salt and sugar that was right and the like.

Besides that, having to think of food to prepare on a daily basis was not an easy task. With that, I went to the internet but found foods that were not in our markets. Nonetheless, I wrote all the general information I would find and it greatly helped in creating my first meal plan. It is a written schedule of suggestions and ideas of what to include in the meals. It can cater for the whole family.
Thereafter, I went to Facebook and asked if there were any mothers that needed help with planning meals, more so for children like I did. I got overwhelming responses and I sent out the first batch of meal plans for free.

However, when a mother of a three-year-old called me complaining that their child was not eating, I made a meal plan priced at Shs35,000. I also found out, through in-depth talk that she was into junk foods because everyone at home was eating junk. That broadened my work to nutritional counselling. Currently, I charge between Shs60,000 and Shs200,000 depending on how much follow up I have to do.
These meal plans address feeding needs from six months on wards and they are customised to the needs, tastes and preferences as well as the culture of the person. The catch here is that I ensure that I recommend local foods only.

Most people are satisfied with the plans I send while a few will request for adjustments or continuous changes depending on the person’s needs. Many children and parents are happy during meal time and that makes me extremely happy. More to that, people are healthier because the right foods are eaten in the right amounts at the right time. These meal plans have supplemented my budget greatly and I am happily parenting my children.

Challenges
Some people do not understand what it takes to develop a meal plan. Therefore, when you charge them Shs100,000, they cry foul. They do not understand that they help one in understanding what to eat and how to balance the foods.
Payment was a problem in the past because I would send people the plans and they would never pay. However, today, I only send them after I have received pay.

Sharon Kyarisiima Matekha - Mushrooms
I originally worked for a telecom call centre but always asked for days off because I was either having pregnancy complications or my daughter was unwell due to asthma. I did not like continually asking for leave inasmuch as I could not help, it so when I went for maternity leave in 2011, I decided to stay home and take care of my babies. In the beginning, I operated a gift shop in Ntinda, however, operation costs were overwhelming, so I quit. I then started looking for something I would do with less expenses. That was when I ventured into mushroom growing. In my first attempt, I bought already made gardens, each costing Shs3,000 but the profits were not good.

Then I asked the gentleman that sold them to me to teach me how to make the gardens. Over the years, I have learned where to get raw materials from and I am glad. For example, if I am to make 600 gardens, I would need seed worth Shs600,000, 12 bags of cotton waste, each at Shs25,000, polythene worth Shs50,000, rubber bands worth Shs10,000 and old newspapers. It would take me five days to have these ready. The market is readily available because, once the mushrooms were ready, I began getting calls from people asking for mushrooms. A kilogram me costs between Shs6,000 and Shs8,000.