BOLD Kampala is the brainchild of three vibrant and talented women entrepreneurs from Uganda who have a vision for raising awareness of, and retailing, African fashion brands. Their BOLD Kampala retail concept is truly world-class and provides affordable space and excellent exposure for uniquely African designer fashion brands.
One of Bold Kampala’s three inspirational women founders, Ngyenzi ‘Nunu’ Mugyenyi, shared their company’s wonderful startup story with Lionesses of Africa, as part of this month’s Focus on African Women Designers….
Please start by telling us a little about your company, BOLD Kampala.
BOLD Kampala is an award-winning retail outlet, housing over thirty clothing and accessory brands from six different African countries. It is a platform designed specifically for African entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. Our mission is to increase the awareness, appreciation and active support of African brands, both locally and internationally.
"With a love for the fashion industry, combined with minimal savings and a huge leap of faith, we opened BOLD Kampala."
What inspired you to start your company?
On my return to Uganda, myself and two friends, Angel Kalisa and Janet Mugume, quickly identified two problem areas. One, there was nowhere affordable for designers to open up convenient retail outlets. Two, there was lots of talent, but too little exposure in the marketplace. With a love for the fashion industry, combined with minimal savings and a huge leap of faith, we opened BOLD Kampala.
Why should African designers utilise your BOLD Kampala retail outlet?
BOLD Kampala is a centrally located, affordable space with excellent exposure where designers are given the opportunity to retail their collections and are encouraged to leverage off each others strengths through collaborations.
Tell us a little about the BOLD Kampala team.
The three BOLD Kampala founders/directors are Angel Kalisa, Janet Mugume and myself, and we are all supported by a vibrant team of ten - five of whom are employed full-time, and five part-time.
As one of the founders of BOLD Kampala, please share a little about your own personal entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My father was a banker up until his passing in 2002. My mother is a retired politician and business woman. Their accomplishments and support have played a key role in my own entrepreneurial journey, as they have not only enabled it, but also inspired it. My siblings, and several members of my extended family are on entrepreneurial journeys of their own, each one inspiring in their own way.
"Our mission is to increase the awareness, appreciation and active support of African brands, both locally and internationally."
What are the future plans and aspirations for BOLD Kampala?
Growth, through the creation of 'BOLD' franchises, working together to support and inspire the African fashion industry.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I have been given the opportunity, through my work, to make a difference.
"It is often said that a business partnership is like a marriage, this is true. Choose your business partners wisely. Find people that will complement you, and not conflict with you."
What's the best advice you can give to other women looking to start-up their own entrepreneurial ventures?
- Starting a business is just as rewarding as it is challenging. Some challenges I have managed to overcome, while solutions to others remain a work in progress. The more passionate you are about your business venture, the more likely you are to rise above the obstacles that will come with it.
- It is often said that a business partnership is like a marriage, this is true. Choose your business partners wisely. Find people that will complement you, and not conflict with you.
- Identify mentors, Learn not only from your mistakes, but from the mistakes of others. Regardless of the area of business, I have found that the principles remain the same.
- Strike the difficult balance between being consistent and staying relevant.
- Mind your own business. Focus your energy on how you can better your business, rather than on how the businesses of others are better than yours. There are enough entrepreneurial journeys to go around.
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Why LoA loves it….
Uganda’s entrepreneurial scene for women is become increasingly more vibrant and we simply love the vision of the women entrepreneurs behind BOLD Kampala. They are looking to raise the profile of African design and get people talking globally about the incredible fashion brands being developed on the continent, showcasing them in the most inspirational and world-class environments. These are three women entrepreneurs who are driving Africa’s positive new trajectory in the global fashion world - watch this space as BOLD Kampala reaches new heights. --- Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and editor-in-chief