The Paper Bag King- Andrew Mupuya

The Paper Bag King- Andrew Mupuya

Early life:

Andrew Mupuya was Born in a rural area of Mbale, Uganda.His Struggling life began in 2008 when he was just 16 years old, and his parents were unable to afford him an education. His parents became unemployed, so that they couldn’t afford his studies. 

His Entrepreneurial Life:

In 2008, the Ugandan government banned the use of polythene bags. Andrew saw paper bags as a viable alternative to plastic bags. Andrew began making paper bags using the business experience he gained through the Junior Achievement (JA), Company called Quapack. While still in high school, he worked as a financial manager and learned how to make paper bags.

His Early Struggle:

While he was still dealing with the adversity in his family and paying his school fees, he began to work on his start-up Youth Entrepreneurial Links Investments (YELI. To make his business plan work, he needed 36,000 Ugandan Shillings. He collected 70kgs of water bottles that were not used and was able to raise 28,000 Ugandan Shillings. The remaining 8,000 Ugandan Shillings were borrowed from one of his teachers. His Company YELI was the first Ugandan paper bag and envelope manufacturing company to be registered. His customers include roadside sellers, local hospitals, retail shops, supermarkets, and flour manufacturers. His business has expanded exponentially since he started it.

His Achievements:

He started to produce over half a million paper bags by 2012, but he knew it was only the beginning and needed to continue his journey. Today YELI produces more than 20,000 paper bags per week with 16 employees. He hopes to have 60 employees by 2015. His Company, YELI, was awarded a 2.6 million Ugandan shilling ILO Business Plan Competition. He also won the $30,000 Anzisha Prize in 2012 for young African entrepreneurs.

Final Take Away:

“My dream is to eradicate polythene bags that are consistently posing a danger to our environment and have a cleaner Africa. I also dream of having a big plant so that I have enough paper bags to supply all over Africa” – Andrew Mupuya. 

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