By Joan Akello
In 1999, Barbra Ofwono Buyondo, a trained secondary school teacher, got a dream to start a kindergarten. Using the little personal savings and contributions from her family, she put together about Shs 1 million to start a kindergarten that she christened Victorious Education Services at Old Kampala.
“Many people discouraged me saying that it wouldn’t work out but a few others encouraged me. I had to stand all the intimidation because I had a vision to become great,” Buyondo says.
Currently, total investment in all the assets has reached more than Shs 8 billion. It has grown from
30 children to more than 4,000 pupils at the five campuses.
Today, the Victorious Education Empire is one of the biggest in Kampala and beyond. Enabling people to share her vision has been difficult because of the differences in culture and attitude.
“Channeling people to make them understand and work within the vision of achieving results after hard work is challenging,” she says.
Tips to success: Passion and hard work
For Buyondo, making it big in this business requires passion and sticking to the goal. She says many people discouraged her saying she couldn’t make it and more so as she was transitioning from secondary teaching to handling kindergarten and primary school kids. “But I was passionate about working with infants and learning from them,” she adds. In 2013, using a Shs 1 billion loan, her dream to open a Victorious Boarding Primary School – Ebenezer Campus in Mukono-Mbalala came to pass.
But she won’t be satisfied until she opens a campus in every division of Kampala as well as expanding the empire to accommodate secondary schools and University to take up the Victorious pupils and then release them into the labour market.