Paul and Mikayla in Spain
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Entrepreneurship with Paul Matovu

The KinoSol team first met Paul in Spain while participating in the Laureate Global Fellowship Program, a social entrepreneurship fellowship! We had great conversations about smallholder farmers, food security, and community development.

That led to a KinoSol trip to Uganda to go visit Paul and determine the best ways to help the local community members. Since meeting Paul back in 2017, he has become an integral part of the KinoSol team. He leads our operations in Uganda and is helping improve local communities and provide food security.

Here’s a bit more about Paul, his views on entrepreneurship, and the work he’s doing in Uganda!

What sparked your interest in entrepreneurship?

There are several reasons that inspired me to turn to entrepreneurship.

Like any young man from a humble background, I know how hard it is to earn enough to support yourself. I was partly raised in a low-income community. I understand the consequences of poverty and implications for all of us because we live in an increasingly open and mutually supporting world. When we build social enterprises, they help everyone.

KinoSol Team visiting Paul in Uganda
KinoSol Team visiting Paul in Uganda

As a central regional coordinator for IDEAS For Uganda, and through my engagements with the youth members of the IDEAS movement,  I observed the depressed state of the formal job market in Uganda. This motivated me to change our community programming. Part of the change was to focus on social entrepreneurship because it can create paying jobs for young people.

I’ve worked with NGOs for over 5 years and have noticed that there is an increase in donor fatigue. Charitable donations have diminished in the last decade! In this realm, I believe in order for organizations to be sustainable, they must be able to make profits. The surplus of which can then be used for charitable work.

What are your thoughts on social entrepreneurship? 

I believe that social entrepreneurship has the potential to bring about positive change in society.

What do you love about KinoSol and what made you want to be part of the team? 

Paul leading a KinoSol training
Paul leading a KinoSol training

KinoSol is solving real-life challenges in today’s global community. Unlike many other organizations, it creates an environment that allows people from different walks of life to share experiences, culture, knowledge, and skills. The entrepreneurship trips, provide an opportunity for students to share their business knowledge with business owners in rural Uganda. Isn’t this beautiful?

Most importantly, I love working with KinoSol to create ways for smallholder farmers to preserve nutritious and valuable food!

How do you think KinoSol’s technology impacts communities? 

The solar food dehydrator does not only help underserved communities increase the shelf-life of their food, but also create business opportunities. The dehydrated snacks have the potential to enhance the nutrition of school-going children and boost their attendance in class.

How do you think the KinoSol trips impacts communities? 

Paul helping students from the KinoSol trip learn about the local market
Paul helping students from the KinoSol trip learn about the local market

KinoSol is teaching local communities how to fish, versus just supplying them with the fish. The food dehydrators and the KinoSol trips create sustainable, long-term practices in the communities. The business workshops, for instance, have helped build the capacity of local businesses.

What advice would you give someone wanting to become a social entrepreneur? 

Like Sabeen Ali once said, “Start small and build momentum.”

Being a social entrepreneur can be very thorny as you are constantly in a field subjugated by changing dynamics. As an entrepreneur, you will often face business challenges. You have to start small and build your enterprise from the ground up. You must be resilient, realistic, and passionate about your goals and the impact you are trying to achieve.

We love working with Paul and the valuable insight he provides as KinoSol works to not only improve food security with our dehydrators, but help inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs through our trips.

If you want to find out more about the work Paul is doing with KinoSol in Uganda around food preservation and entrepreneurship, check out our impact page. And don’t forget to tune in next week to read our newest post!

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