Youth unemployment is making it increasingly difficult for Uganda to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Seventy seven per cent of the country’s population is made up of youth under 30.
According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate for young Ugandans is observed as the highest in Sub Saharan Africa standing at 80 per cent.
Denis Ssebunya is among the few people who have come out to fight the scourge.
Ssebunya was born on March 1988 to John (late) and Margaret Kirumira (late) at Kitovu Hospital in Masaka.
He sat for his Primary Leaving Examinations at Sekibubu Primary School, Mukono High School for his O’ level and Mukono Town Academy for his A’ level.
In 2012, Ssebunya joined Datamine Technical Business School in Makerere where he graduated with a Diploma in Journalism.
“While in my Senior two, I started a cleaning business which I named God’s Grace Homecare Consultants Limited; it offered home cleaning services, fumigation, floor polishing among others.
“It was this business that helped me raise school fees from secondary level until I completed my studies,” he reveals.
When he graduated in 2015, Ssebunya decided to take on his professional career thus leaving little space for the cleaning service job.
“After studies I got a job at Buddo Parents Academy as the school’s Public Relations Officer. Later I joined Channel 44 Television as a news reporter.”
However his stay at the media house was short lived.
“One time while covering Dr Kizza Besigye’s treason case, my camera fell down and got broken. What came to my mind next was to go to the station and ask for the company’s camera but they downplayed my request; so I was left with no working tool. I quit,” Ssebunya recounts.
Stuck with no job to bring a penny to his pockets, Ssebunya had to go back on the drawing board to find a way of making ends meet. The immediate solution at that time was to revive his old cleaning business.
“The business was in existence but inactive, so what I did was to use some of my savings from the previous job to re-register my business into a full company.”
“I also sold off some of my belongings to get money that I used to sub rent an office space in Mukono, print business cards, brochures as well as buying a metallic poster. From there I was good to go.”
Instead of using the company’s initial name [God’s Grace Homecare Consultants Limited], Ssebunya says he opted for a name that would bring all people together irrespective of their religious beliefs hence coming up with Valour Industrial Care Consultants Ltd.
“The old name was so Christian yet I was targeting all kinds of people.”
“The good thing I marketed well what I do better, I got some good contracts from cleaning floor tiles, roofs, and draining toilets. After one year in business, I was able to rent a full office for my company with all the required necessities.
After settling in the cleaning business well, Ssebunya says more business ideas started flowing into his mind; one of them was to start looking for employment opportunities for people especially the youth.
“I used to see young people suffering to get jobs and it was always my dream to change the livelihood of the youth in the country.
“I first sold the idea to my clients whom I used to offer the cleaning services. I would get them housemaids, and in turn I get commissions. As time went by, I also started securing jobs for askaris, teachers, accountants, human resource personnel, chefs among others. I also get internship opportunities for students.”
What makes his job agency tick
Ssebunya reveals that before his company connects someone to a job, a person must first present a copy of his/her of National ID, LC Letter, Education documents [if necessary]. Later when they reach an understanding with the employer, a contract between three parties is signed [Employee, employer and the company].
“The contracts which we sign are meant to protect both the workers and the employers when it comes to salary, benefits and fulfillment of duties. In case there’s a breach of contract, we deal with the situation basing on the signed agreement.”
“I want to at least buy an acre of land, set up a training facility to offer necessary skills to people looking for jobs before I hand them over to clients and I want to create an environment where people can get employed without basing on ‘technical know who’ but their qualifications.”
Valour Industrial Care Consultants Ltd