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A Ugandan Entrepreneur Sets Out to Create…

Lauren Everitt | Akilah Net   in  ·
April 23, 2015

Raymond Besiga is a very busy guy. So far, he’s co-founded tech startup Sparkplug and crowd-funding platform Akabbo, and he’s got several more startup ideas in the works. In between running his companies, he maintains a personal blog and gives talks, like this one on the sharing economy for TEDxKampala.

But Besiga didn’t start out with ambitions to become a serial entrepreneur or a speaker on startups. Rather, he stair-stepped his way though a variety of jobs, acquiring new skills and slowly nurturing a drive to create game-changing companies in Uganda. After graduating from Makerere University in 2010 with a degree in telecommunications engineering, Besiga joined his alma mater as a research assistant. He later served with U.S. nonprofit Global Health Corps as a distance learning officer, and in 2012, he joined UNICEF as a software developer. “I was learning a lot and observing process management styles and collaboration techniques at each one of those steps to build up to what I do now,” he says.

His time at UNICEF proved particularly fruitful. There, he and coworker Moses Mugisha brainstormed the beginnings of Sparkplug during their daily lunches. They both had the itch to create something of their own. “It got to the point where we’d lost that momentum … you’re starting to slow down,” he recalls. “We were thinking, ‘Hey, no one would believe that Kampala or Uganda can be a place where there is a highly skilled labor force building software for companies around the world,’” he recalls.

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