Kenyan entrepreneur Amina Hersi Morghe was born in Bungoma, a small town in south western Kenya, about 33 kilometers from the Uganda border. She was born to Kenyan-Somali parents who owned a small shop and butchery which she helped run after school.
After completing senior four, her parents enrolled her into a one year course in elementary accounting
in the capital Nairobi. They wanted her to have the skills and knowledge to be able to run the family
business back home. When she finished her studies, a small hardware shop was opened for her and she
started trading. However, the challenge she faced was that all the hardware shops in the area sold
material in large quantities and therefore made it almost impossible for the locals who needed small
quantities to afford.
She immediately took advantage of this and started selling goods in quantities that customers desired,
she sold nails in kilograms and this made her small shop popular in the region. She was able to get more
customers and more profit. Amina made customers her friends and they were able to tell her what kind of
goods/ brands they needed and she brought exactly that. Some customers actually provided the capital
for her to purchase these items; these were more like loans without interest.
Calamity fell in the 1990’s when her business was at its peak. She lost two children in a road accident and
this was a turning point in her life. It was hard to move on from the loss. She then decided to leave
Kenya because of a need of a new environment that would distract her from the loss. She decided Uganda was
the destination. She packed her bags and came to the Pearl Of Africa
While in Uganda, she established and run one of the most successful cement and hardware companies
because of the experience she had back home. She was one of the biggest importers of the time and a few
years later, she started planning for her retirement. This however wasn’t what God had in plan for her. The 2007,
Common Wealth Heads of Government’s Meeting came knocking, there weren’t enough hotels in Kampala for the
anticipated guests and she took the risk that many weren’t able to make and joined real estate. Laburnum Courts Apartments were born.
Years after, she still thought about retirement but it looks like entrepreneurs don’t retire, it’s a lifetime
job. A friend approached her into joining the sugar production industry in Northern Uganda. She was
hesitant but later agreed to give it a thought. As you read this, Amina Hersi’s sugar factory is starting
production soon in Atiak, Amuru District Northern Uganda.
The project has provided many families with a livelihood and a chance to a better life because they are
involved in planting, weeding and harvesting sugar cane for the factory. Amina Hersi gave them following advice to the youth who were in attendance at the YE Summit where she shared her life story:
1.Be closer to people; opportunity comes from networking
3.Be trust worthy and a person of integrity
5.Utilize the available resources; this generation has access to all kinds of information because of the internet.
6.Start small and have a positive attitude towards any task you undertake.
Keep proper records & accounts. This will enable you get a loan much easier if the need arises.