GOOD 100: Meet Roberts Mbabazi, Brewing Industry Opportunities In Uganda
Roberts Mbabazi has done what we all secretly wish we could: made a career of his addiction to coffee. Hailing from Uganda, Mbabazi has made a personal mission of introducing the beverage to his homeland—a nation of tea-drinkers. While coffee stands as one of the nation’s leading cash crops, the area has yet to cash in on “coffee culture,” claiming virtually no coffee shops.
Mbabazi funneled his savings into coffee-brewing equipment and started his company, Barista Pro Coffe, which offers barista training programs. The company also works as a consultant for major café brands in Uganda, sparking entrepreneurial opportunities for locals.
But capitalizing on coffee in Uganda isn’t as simple as opening more store fronts. Cafés have to first be seen as trendy. According to Mbabazi, this has already started to take shape as people move from bars to coffee shops for meetings, hangouts and breaks.
“As you might be aware, I am a coffee enthusiast,” Mbabazi says. “I love coffee and my whole line of work rotates around coffee.”
Mbabazi currently works in Kampala, and has created a line of products that he sells to clients, including his own unique coffee roast, packed coffee beans and powder, and a range of equipment. This year, Mbabazi hopes to launch a coffee academy to grant opportunities to some of Kampala’s 645,000 unemployed youth.
“Coming from a very poor background, with just basic education to my name, I feel God has blessed me with many opportunities and I think it would only be fair if I can reach out and touch other people's lives,” Mbabazi says. “I believe opening up a café and inviting them for free training would really mean a lot to them.”
This year, Mbabazi will work on securing funding for this project, as well as searching for partners to help make his big idea a reality.
“It is a very ambitious dream for me to have, but I am sure one day I will realize it,” he says.
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