MTN Uganda recently announced the 2016 Edition of the Annual MTN Women In Business Awards set to take place next week, and will honor outstanding women who are leveraging the power of technology to better manage their businesses. This year, MTN is giving women in business an opportunity to not only profile their businesses on a grand platform but also to showcase innovative ICT solutions working in businesses in Uganda.

Last year’s MTN Women In Business Awards which saw Mrs. Barbara Ofwono, the proprietor of Victorious Schools scoop the overall Award of MTN Women in Business SME CEO of the year recognized the drive towards digital inclusion in businesses.

This year’s nominees and eventual winners are ladies who have left no stone unturned to keep their businesses over and above their competition. These ladies have beaten rigid market conditions, bottleneck inflation and broken gender-role stereotypes to come out on top.

Meet the 2016 MTN Women In Business Awards Nominees!

1. Doreen Amia, Sashya Company Limited
Doreen Amia is the Managing Director Sashya Telecom which she started in 2012 after she left formal employment. She started small in a container shop and over the years she has managed to open up 8 outlets that deal in Mobile Money services, power backups, modems, phone and SIM packs.

2. Immaculate Apolot, Invest Enterprises Ltd 
Immaculate, Managing Director of Invest Enterprises Ltd is a holder of a Diploma in Procurement from MUBS. She registered this business in 2012 but did not start operations immediately. She started off working as a shop attendant and saved up ugx.500,000 which she used to start this mobile money business. Immaculate is now an owner of 3 MTN Mobile Money service points, an internet cafe and secretarial bureau on Main street, Soroti town.

3. Auma Florence, Mutual Points (U) ltd
Auma Florence, a director of Mutual Points (U) Ltd, a mother of two, registered the company in 2010 with her husband and started off business of mobile money transfers. They later started a school with now six classes, and a groundnut shelling machine. The business currently boasts seven branches in Kumi, Bukedea, Ngora, Kaberamaido-Otuboi.

4. Charity Asasira, Willy & Company Cash Point Limited
The Managing Director of Willy & Company Cash Point Ltd in Elegu Town, Amuru district never wanted to seek for employment after her university education. She therefore used some experience gained through working with MTN in 2008 during her S.6 vacation in mobile money transfers department to start up a Mobile Money services center with the help of a relative. Her business has since grown from one center to thirteen others since 2013. Willy& Company offers MTN mobile subscribers services such as airtime sales, SIM card registration, MTN Mobile money services as well as simple money transfers between Uganda and South Sudan.

5. Christine Asenzea, Cristella Enterprises Ltd
Christine Asenzea is the co-founder of Christella Enterprises Ltd that deals in MTN mobile money services, airtime and SIM packs and sale of MTN phones.  She started this business 2009 after completing her university studies, with experience gained working at COMASE General Transporters where I was handling mobile money, and earned a commission. She used her savings to take a difficult first step to start a business that has grown from one to five MTN Mobile Money service points since 2011.

6. Eugenie Windt Nsubuga,  Swanair Travel & Safaris / Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Eudenie, a single mother of 3 decided to go into business after her employment contract of 3 years expired. Despite having a passion for the insurance industry, she ventured into tours and travel to build Swanair Travel and Safaris offers Travel Management, handling Air Tickets, Hotel Reservations,Holidays, and has expanded into ownership of Lakeside Adventure Park on the shores of Lake Victoria, a venue for Team Building, and lots of Adventure activities.

She is passionate about honesty and integrity. and believes that for anyone to succeed, persistence, belief in themselves and change of attitude are must-have values.

7. Harriet Neumbe, Elgon Mega (U) Ltd
Harriet Neumbe, Director of Elgon Mega Ltd started this business in 2012 with three tills. SHe has since acquired mobile money businesses from people over the period to bring her to a total of 11 tills which are all currently doing very well. Harriet is operating in villages where the demand for cash is high, as people receive a lot of money from relatives in the well-to-do towns like Kampala.

Harriet has worked hard to ensure good service for her customers and the fruits are evident in her new boutique and poultry and dairy farming projects standing on 3 acres of land she recently acquired.

8. Joseline Kateeba, Crest Foam Ltd
Josephine Kateeba, Managing Director Crest Foam Ltd joined the company back in 2004, as a junior level business analyst for a year, before joining Harvard Business School for further studies. She then worked overseas in the USA, South Africa and Nigeria.  before finally replacing her mother in the family business as MD.

Crest Foam is the only female led mattress manufacturing company in East Africa and has survived through competition. The company has significantly added to its fixed assets as well as its production capacity despite unfortunate Fire outbreak incident in February 2015 which gutted the factory and lead to the loss of six employees, assets worth six billion including finished products.

9. Lydia Oile, MD of Lawsam Chemicals, Le Memorial Medical Services Ltd
Lydia Oile is the Managing Director of Lawsam Chemicals and Director Tausi Décor and CEO Le-Memorial Medical Services. These are three different companies all dealing in different things and she has handled them effectively for the time that they have all run.  Lawsam chemicals being the oldest that she has ran for 25 years, Tausi Decor for five years and Le- Memorial is the baby and the biggest of all of them that’s only a year old.

Lydia has survived in a male dominated industry,  dealing mostly in industrial detergents because she does not doubt that she can accomplish anything she sets out to accomplish.

10. Sophia Klumpp Grinvalds, AFRIpads Uganda Limited
Sophia Klump is the co-founder and Managing Director AFRIpads Uganda. AFRIpads specializes in the local manufacture and global supply of cost effective, reusable sanitary pads. The AFRIpads design includes “all in one” pads that button securely into a pair of underwear.

She started this business with a background knowledge in business or start-up capital in 2010 as a seed idea – a tiny pilot project based on the hope that a product innovation like reusable pads could help empower women and girls to experience their monthly period with comfort and dignity, instead of a discomfort they had to endure or a monthly obstacle to overcome.

AFRIpadshad grown to reach 500,000 girls and women with their AFRIpads Menstrual Kits and in under 12 months since, they are just shy of 1 million mark.

11. Susan Ajok, ED for Straight Talk Foundation
Susan Ajok, the Executive Director for Straight Talk Foundation has served in this organization for the past eighteen years in different capacities, rosen through the ranks and has now as Executive Director for six years. Straight talk Foundation offers communications products, Youth friendly Health services, capacity building and environment and livelihood programs to the youth.

Susan Ajok has guided this organization’s growth strategy in her different capacities starting right from her data clerk position in 1998. She prides herself in holding firm onto her values and never looking back on her leadership journey since.

12. Alice Karugaba, Owner of Nina Interiors Limited
The Nina Interiors journey started 25 years ago when Alice Karugaba’s friend who owned a furniture company asked her to sell his furniture and compliment it with curtains and other products. From humble beginnings, Alice has taken her company to great heights including Superbrands and ISO certification.