MoTIV made our fashion dream a reality – Speed Ball Proprietor

It is a well-known fact that making a breakthrough as a young entrepreneur in Uganda is almost considered a miracle. This is due to the unfavorable business environment characterized by high operational costs, intense competition, and high taxes, among other challenges. 

A group of young entrepreneurs interested in fashion and design consider themselves lucky after encountering a great opportunity that eliminated most of the hindrances young entrepreneurs face in making progress. 

David Mulolo, the Director and CEO of Speed Ball, a community clothing brand for young fashion designers, says his team had been presented with a rare opportunity to chase and achieve their dreams when all hopes were looking dim. 

“Some friends and I started branding t-shirts during our senior four vacation from Nasser Road. However, continuing the business was challenging due to the high cost of printing. We would buy a T-shirt at Shs20,000, brand it at Shs15,000, and only sell it at Shs40,000. We were making only 5,000 per shirt, which could not support our expansion interests. We almost gave up on the business, but we were fortunate to discover a supporting program at MoTIV through an Instagram advert,” Mulolo says. 

Mulolo adds that the group was able to join the NextWave Program, implemented by Innovation Village in partnership with Mastercard Foundation as part of the Young Africa Works at MoTIV under the Fabric District. They received extra training in branding using advanced technology, enabling them to expand their group and invite more young people to join the project. 

“We have young people between the ages of 16 to 19 years who, through the MoTIV academy, have received hands-on skills and can now produce a designer skirt from scratch. Now, we only invest in buying material, while the machinery and space are provided for free by MoTIV,” he added. 

The group specializes in designer clothes, specifically ‘Cargo’ skirts and ‘tank’ tops for young people. The clothes are then sold online through Speed Ball Courier Services Limited to people in Uganda and other surrounding countries. 

“Our biggest challenge right now is limited raw materials, which are hard to find in Uganda. We would love to produce in bulk, but we are limited by materials. We have started importing material from neighboring countries like Kenya. We would also like to have our own production space,” he said. 

Mulolo says the group’s future aspiration is to own a big warehouse that produces and manufactures clothes for the majority of Ugandans. 

“Recently, the president of Uganda passed a law prohibiting the importation of secondhand clothes. We hope that this move will boost the local textile sector, and we will have a market for our products.” 

The team is also organizing a fashion and arts show this coming December to allow young designers to showcase their products and get an opportunity to network with other designers from across East Africa. 

“Through this project, we have been able to fight depression and idleness among the young people in Kampala. The young people in our group now spend their free time trying out new designs, which not only improve their skills but also enable them to earn a living. I encourage more young people to come and join us and other groups under MOTIV because having hands-on skills will help them maneuver and compete favorably in Uganda,” Mulolo said.

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