Home Institution

The University of Vermont

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Uganda: Global Development Studies


In this preliminary research assignment I compared and contrasted entrepreneurship and what it means to be an entrepreneur or small business owner in the United States and Uganda as well as offer suggestions that could potentially strengthen the Ugandan economy using American business practices and solutions. I utilized both secondary sources and my own experiences and knowledge about small businesses and entrepreneurs in Uganda. This data is compared to both my own experiences in the United States as well as information provided by scholarly articles to provide a more complete and well-rounded comparison of the two countries. Uganda, being a country whose economy is estimated to be roughly 80% informal, is inherently a country full of entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. Therefore I found that studying these micro-businesses is a key element to the further development of Uganda on its path to becoming a fully developed country.

While many Ugandans do not identify themselves as entrepreneurs, the mindset and business practices of nearly every Ugandan are entrepreneurial in nature. From small mobile ice cream carts to businesses with multiple branches Ugandan business people are everywhere and are ever-increasing with the rapidly expanding labor force.

This study focused mainly on my encounters with business people within Uganda and therefore many of the subjects were informally interviewed within Kampala and Busia. The many people highlighted throughout this essay are all local business owners and farmers that I experienced during my stay in both Nabweru as well as Busia.

These first-hand accounts are compared to my own experiences as both an entrepreneurship major at the University of Vermont as well as a small informal business owner myself. In the United States I have been running an informal furniture moving and odd-job business for the last six years and many of the themes discussed throughout this report will directly relate to the experiences I have encountered during this time as an informal business owner.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Growth and Development | Work, Economy and Organizations


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