KinoSol met Isaac on our first trip to Kasese, Uganda! He was one of the team members of IDEAS For Uganda. We have continued to work with him over the years through IDEAS, as well as through his new entrepreneurial venture, edible insects. We’re excited to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what Isaac thinks about entrepreneurship and his interactions with KinoSol in Uganda!
Here’s a bit more about Isaac:
What got you interested in entrepreneurship?
I was inspired by my background in human rights activism and environmental sustainability. I discovered that the only way to find solutions to development challenges is through social-economic entrepreneurship. For example, It is hard for an economically dis-empowered person to sustainably defend his rights and protect the environment.
This changed my mindset from mere activism to leading in action-oriented entrepreneurship. Most importantly, is entrepreneurship that does not violate other people’s rights and destroying the environment. This is why I am in insect farming. I started the only Crickets Commercial Farm in Uganda, Universal Insect Farming Ltd, to positively impact the social and economic lives of Ugandans.
What are your thoughts on social entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship requires taking hard decisions, moving away from your comfort zone to a world of direct challenges. Entrepreneurship is the only avenue that can reduce community development problems. By going entrepreneurial, one begins to think very fast to address the prevailing problems.
Development partners need to target and fund the breeding of several sustainability entrepreneurs. This will prevent the current global problems from escalating. A case in point is Africa, a continent with vast rich natural resources, with a great environment, but having the largest poor population on planet earth, mainly economic poverty. Poverty in Africa sends a message that we have a low pool of entrepreneurs in most African countries. Hence, no jobs, diseases, bad governance, human rights violations, environmental destruction….and finally poverty, but that isn’t the case.
How do you think KinoSol’s technology impacts communities?
Uganda, in particular, is predominantly an agricultural Country. Over 70% of Ugandans derive their livelihood from Agriculture. But of these, only less than 15% are doing commercial Agriculture. Many farmers who wish to save some of their produce for market are greatly hampered by poor storage capacity.
KinoSol dehydrators increase shelf life of harvested crops. This allows farmers to store food for a long time for the market and earn money. Farmers also store food for a long time and preventing household hunger.
What has it been like working with KinoSol and implementing dehydrators?
Working with KinoSol has been a very great experience. I have interacted with the local farmers in rural communities of Uganda. Farmers are interested in optimizing the dehydrators for drying bigger quantities of food for commercial farming. They are also looking for help to fund the scaling-up of their agriculture.
Implementing dehydrators has also encountered challenges like some people not having surplus food to dehydrate. The poverty levels among the targeted communities have left most of them only managing to produce for their “stomachs” and therefore unable to dehydrate, hence a statement “from garden to source pan”. Very few people are also able to pay for a dehydrator even with a discount offer from KinoSol.
How do you think the KinoSol trips impacts communities and what was your experience like engaging with the students?
KinoSol trips are a great community transformation activity. The physical interaction with the local people, especially on local social-economic transformation is the way to go. The continuous trips to local communities will create a landmark of local entrepreneurs.
My last engagement with KinoSol students mirrored my dream of seeing people talking about business and entrepreneurship as a way of transforming society.
What advice would you give someone wanting to become a social entrepreneur?
Someone wanting to get into social entrepreneurship must first know that entrepreneurship is not a “bed of roses”. There are vast challenges in entrepreneurship, but the uniqueness of entrepreneurship challenges is that they add value to someone’s actions and make him or her gain more in the future.
Entrepreneurship is all about consistency, perseverance, and having a high level of social and financial discipline.
We love working with Isaac and all of his feedback! He is there on the ground able to help us identify new opportunities and provide continual feedback for the dehydrator. We’ve got some new partnerships and products to improve food security and inspiring the next generation of social entrepreneurs coming in 2020, so stay tuned!
If you want to find out more about Issac’s social venture, visit Universal Insect Farmings Ltd and contact Isaac. And don’t forget to tune in next week to read our newest post!