By Alex Roberts
Pristine white table clothes popping with bouquets of fresh flowers stood out against the kitenge flourishes that accent the furniture of B.SoUg. Bottles of sparkling wine sweated down next to mocha and vanilla coloured cupcakes stacked up on trays. The clouds threatened around, but held out from crossing into Bukoto, Kampala.
For the Women’s Entrepreneurship High Tea hosted by B.SoUG (and yours truly at the EA Scene), there couldn’t be any half measures taken, and not even the threat of sudden onset storms could dampen the proceedings.
As magenta glasses of chilled hibiscus were poured out, 35 or so women gathered, members of the growing entrepreneurial cohort of Kampala. Their stories were varied, businesses ranging from eucalyptus tea sales to interior design, but the through line remained the same, that now was a moment to be seized, that such sparks of connection can be struck anywhere in this Kampala. In between speakers, the conversations flowed, the shiny rectangular matte of business cards exchanged across tables.
Beatrice Tusiime, the founder of B.SoUg took a break from welcoming attendees and giving speeches to talk about the event, “It should not just be today, it should continue, when you feel that kind of energy, creative space, good food and good vibes. I’m all about continuing B.SoUg as a space for women entrepreneurs because the future is female.”
There seemed to be an energy that crackled within those conversations, as the realization of possibility came bubbling up to the surface. Chilled hibiscus was replaced with glasses of wine as the evening began to settle in and the guest speakers wrapped up their imploring of the attendees to pursue their ideas to their further extent. The attendees continued on, forming ideas, partnerships, new hustles and collective visions. Music came back on and the minds behind Legacy showed off their wares of funky-twists on jewelry and acrylic painted kicks.
Mercy Kabahuma, a real estate agent talked about the vibe over pulled pork tacos, “coming to this for me was for network, I love meeting new people and learning from them. Learning never stops, and to meet people who have walked in the steps that I’m about to walk in and I’m finding that here.
Vanessa Ishimwe, an interior designer and fashion designer echoed this, “For me it’s very important to come to these kind of things and make yourself grow.”
Coming out of the horrors of 2020, this vibe in the early stages of the new year seems the right direction to head towards. Somehow or another, business has to improve, so why not kick it off now?
Women have been hammered especially hard by the economic scourges of COVID-19, so now is the moment to right the ship and continue the hustle. As the Women’s Entrepreneurship High Tea showed, if what has been tried simply isn’t working, go around it- you’ll find like minded people there.
Check out B.SoUg for yourself.