Turamuhawe cleaning business here to inspire youth
Despite Uganda’s economy being relatively stable for the past few years as a result of several macro-economic reforms, there are still not enough decent and productive jobs to absorb the high population growth. Youth unemployment and underemployment remains a serious challenge.
According toa 2015 school to work transition survey by theInternational Labour Organisation (ILO), the unemployment rate stands at 9.4 per cent.The youth unemployment rate is at 6.5 per cent.
In addition to the significant unemployment figures, the country has a large informal sector and a high concentration of unemployment in low-paying and low productive agriculture.The labourmarket is also characterised by acute underemployment, especially in the rural areas.
However, Christine Joy Turamuhawe, a student of International Business at Makerere University Business School andfounder of CJAY solutionsis challenging young women to be job creators and not job seekers through her cleaning service company.The business has been a source of employment for many uneducated and unemployed young women.
CJAY Home Solutions is a mobile cleaning business that offers services such as regular house cleaning, laundry, babysitting, and housekeeping, among others. The business employs the services of university students and those in their vacation, with most being female. Turamuhawegives some insights on why she started the business.
What is the inspiration behind this business?
I was employed somewhere and here; I saw a colleague who was making a lot of money from this kind of business. I thought this would work for me as wellsince I wanted to be financially independent. We have existed since February 2019 and among the advantages of this business is the fact that you do not have to be buried in mountains of paperwork to run it. Also, my dream was to offer employment to youth who may not have had a chance to further their education.
How many people do you employ?
I currently employ 6 women. My main target is university students and those in their vacation so that they can earn money to sustain themselves instead of relying on their parents for everything.I am glad to say that many of the people who have worked with me have been able to go and start their own endeavours.
What are some of your achievements so far?
The market is available and fortunately, mostly well paying.Also, the fact that many students want to join as employees is a great success since this wayI am able to inspire them to aim higher.
What challenges have you faced?
The main one is the risk of accidents since we use machinery in wet areas. Also, some clients do not want to give the maids decent pay since they are used to paying them meagre salaries. I realised that a number of maids are paid just 50,000 Ugandan shillings per month, which is not equal with the work they do.
Security wise, being in a stranger’s house alone is not the wisest thing to do because anything can happen. Bad people are everywhere. We have a challenge of trusting people when we go to their homes or premises to clean,but we just trust God to protect usand also take security precautions. In addition, sometimes when I go to new homes, I go with a colleague for safety purposes.We also sometimes have clients who do not pay on time and suppliers with poor quality products, which causes us to make losses.
What are your future plans?
I plan on having offices in different parts of Uganda.
A parting shot for other young women?
Apart from appreciating the jobs we have, we should also focus on job creation by thinkingout of the box. I always encourage young women to put love and passion in whatever they do. If you do not have a job, try utilizing the available resources and since we are in a digital era, work from home.For example,you can sell products orclothes virtually and do deliver to your clients.Online platforms can also be used to market your products.