Ms Nancy Kalembe’s journey to entrepreneurship seems like a fairy tale story.
She overcame personal and family challenges to refocus her energies on building a fruit processing company whose net worth is now nearly Shs260 million and still appreciating.
Beginning of Mbalimbali limited
Kalembe started Mbalimbali Limited with Shs50,000 that her sister had given her in 2012 when she was jobless.
A year later, she registered the company after it became evident that her future lay in the natural juice processing business.
“With the Shs50,000, I bought second hand jars and pineapples and I started my entrepreneurship journey,” she said.
Her clients were mostly friends whom she would supply, sometimes on order although most of the time she would do impromptu deliveries.
She would carry the jam in her bag delivering it to her friends from one office to another.
Her friends did not consider that a bother as they wanted her to get back to her feet after enduring excruciating family and personal troubles.
Despite her past predicament, the idea of selling her chunk of land in Luwero district did not cross her mind.
A third of the Luweero based land, which is about 100 acres, is now the source of the much needed raw materials—pineapples, that Mbambali Limited processes into natural juice for sale.
The pineapple jam, which is Kalembe’s first product to vend, brings in about 70 to 75 per cent of the total income, making it Kalembe’s premium product thus far.
She argues that it is the only high fibre jam in the local market which is 100 per cent natural.
“Our fastest moving product is the pineapple sip (commonly known as Munanasi). It is a healthy extract from pineapple peels,” Kalembe said in a recent interview with Prosper magazine.
She continued: “This brings in between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of the total income.”
A bottle of pineapple Sip goes for Shs1, 000.
The pineapple juice brings in about 10 per cent of the company income.
School children are some of Kalembe’s biggest customers.
By the time schools close, she hopes to have pushed her sales to a much higher level as most parents and teachers prefer their children consuming natural fruit products as opposed to the artificial drinks which are currently widely available.