Stella's growing her business with a loan, training and gonja


Stella Balikenga's Story

Kat Gulyas, Digital Marketing Manager

Stella at the Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council market, selling Gonja

Stella at the Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council market, selling Gonja

Stella is a successful business women and inspiring Deki entrepreneur in Uganda. To date, she has successfully repaid two Deki loans, which were used to build and grow her business selling donja at the Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council local market. Gonja is a cooked, ripe plantain (a type of banana) usually eaten with beans or vegetables.

Mpondwe is at the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo - in fact, one of the three busiest border-crossings between Uganda and the DRC. In such a busy market area, Stella knew that she could develop her business to be successful and provide a much better income for her and her family.

From tree…

From tree…

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…to grill.

…to grill.

Training in progress, Mpondwe, Uganda

Training in progress, Mpondwe, Uganda

Using the skills training she received from New Home, including record keeping, marketing, numeracy, business training and customer service, Stella has increased her profits steadily by 5% each month. The impacts of Stella’s success aren’t limited to her, but impacting the community too. Stella has used her success to employ another woman since receiving her Deki loans. This has helped Stella’s revenue and business efficiency while leading to more empowerment for her employee.

As a mother of six and the care-taker for four of her nieces and nephews, Stella uses the profits from her business to repay her loan and for family expenses including school fees, food, clothes, water, and medical expenses. All of Stella’s children are now enrolled in school.

“I plan to build a permanent house, buy land, continue to educate all my children”

Showing no sign of slowing down now, Stella has applied for a third Deki loan to continue growing her business and reports being able to increase her savings with the aspirations of building a permanent house, buying land and continuing to educate her children.

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