Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Pearl Trek Adventures
Explain your project in details:
Pearl Trek Adventures Pearl Trek Adventures is Uganda's first mobile outdoor sporting company. Potential clients we have spoken to complain that there are limited options in the adventure tourism industry for them to engage in with their families and friends. Many travel to Uganda for holiday with disposable income to spend but end up going back home with most of their money not spent. The few available options from our competition are outside Kampala City. We are providing new, fun and exhilarating experiences like Zorbing, Inline Skating, and hopefully will introduce others like bungee trampolining, mobile rock climbing among other activities. We will be mobile providing these activities at modern day villages like shopping malls with ample parking space and play area, resorts and beaches, events, churches, corporate team building for companies and schools, fostering our pun of bringing back a global village culture to counter the growing social disconnection among the youth and families. This disconnection is attributed to growing sedentary indoor lifestyles as a result of exposure and ease of access to technology. We very much desire that people step out and enjoy the outdoors through the recreational activities we will provide. Through the company's vision and mission, we hope to also foster a youth rehabilitation programme where we will draw a number of unemployed youth off the street, out of petty crime like gambling, sports betting, theft, drug addiction, get them into the programme, equip them with life skills, retain some as employees in the company while getting the younger ones back into school. In five years time, we hope to be the go-to adventure destination in the heart of Kampala, expand further into the Tour and Travel industry, franchise to neighbouring countries, while impacting countless youth in the country.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Goal 8 of the SDG's "Decent Work and Economic Growth" entails promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. For least developed countries (LDC's) like Uganda, the economic target is to attain at least a 7% annual growth in GDP. Achieving higher productivity will require diversification and upgraded technology along with innovation, entrepreneurship, and the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Some targets are for 2030; others are for 2020. The target for 2020 is to reduce youth unemployment and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment. One of our core missions is to help reduce the youth unemployment rate in Uganda as a company by taking many idle unemployed youth off the the streets, out of petty crime like gambling, sports betting, theft, recruit them into our youth rehabilitation programme for about 3 months. The most promising and talented ones will be retained as company employees to help us run our activities while the young ones will be put back into school and others will be recruited into other vocational institutions we intend to partner with, to help them acquire skills that will make them useful citizens and have them in gainful employment elsewhere. By 2030 also under the same SDG, the target is to establish policies for sustainable tourism that will create jobs. Pearl Trek Adventures being under the Adventure tourism sector is well placed to contribute positively to sustainable development and tourism in Uganda in addition to the new tax exemptions from government. Adventure tourism is fast growing in Uganda with the Tourism Industry being the highest foreign exchange at the moment for the country with 2017 statistics putting it at about $1.07bn and projecting it to grow to $5.53bn by 2027.
Sustainability and future plans
Construction of our business model is based on cooperation with Airlines, Rental Car Agencies, Restaurants, Hotels, Travel Agencies, Suppliers, Immigration , Travel Sites and Destinations, Corporate Bodies, Beaches and Resorts, institutions and organizations with same goals and also on audience which pays for participation in programmes as key partners. Our key activities are Zorbing, Inline Skating and Skateboarding. When we scale the business, we will add mobile rockclimbing, bungee trampolining, hoverboarding, flyboarding, extreme pogo, tour and travel excursions and regional competitions in the activities. Our key resources are equipment, human resources like trainers, marketing, permits and partnerships and we hope to secure land and become the adventure destination of Uganda in about 5years with a fully equipped youth recreation centre catering to the Youth rehabilitation programme we intend to run as a company to help us not only give back to society but also create employment opportunities. With regard to finances, we are looking at revenue streams from running the activities, subscriptions and loyalty payments from clients, events and corporate team building activities, equipment rentals and also an online store which doubles as our website will be a one-stop shopping place for outdoor sporting equipment in the East African region. We intend to venture into the tour and travel arm in 3-5years when the business is stable. But most importantly our desire is to see company staff and management grow as the company grows, so we will be supporting our employees in a number of personal growth intitiatives whether its acquisition of a skill or short courses that contribute to the company.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
My name is Lucy Isoke Marunga. I was born 30 years ago. I am a lawyer by training. I have always wanted to diversify from the legal profession and serve God and community through business and ministry. I wanted something that encompasses my three passions which are children, travel and adventure and animals. And that is what our business is all about long term. When I received an email from my former University introducing me to African Business Institute in 2016, (the birthplace of Pearl Trek Adventures), it was just the beginning of the realisation of a dream I had held onto for 8years. I have held a few leadership positions both in school and at University and Post graduate school as team leader in charge of coming up with a strategy, marketing and operations management curriculum for a village ministry. I have also helped out in many family agribusinesses particularly in marketing and sales. I believe these coupled with my legal skills and competencies alongside my business partner Joshua Agonya who has started up several businesses, make us an excellent and ideally fit team to run Pearl Trek. The MBA standard lectures, interaction and exposure to professors and MBA graduates from world class universities like Vanderbilt, Emory, Oxford, Cambridge, Millsaps among others have not only shaped my mindset about entrepreneurship but have also changed a negative mindset I held onto for years towards Accounting and mathematics in general. I will be developing my Accounting skills further which will be very key in running the business. We are using all the opportunities available to us to raise awareness about the company since we intend to franchise to other Sub-Saharan countries as well as East Africa which includes participation in a number of entrepreneurship programmes like this one.