How do you perceive women? As powerful forces for change or simply future housewives? On #EntrepreneurTuesday Jamila Mayanja makes a case for the virility and versatility of young African women.
“People in Africa perceive women as stay-at-home mothers who should be doing very small businesses. I want to challenge that perspective and also challenge myself to achieve my dreams.” ~ Jamila Mayanja.
When President Obama specially notices and applauds the efforts of a young woman living in Uganda, you cannot help but ask, “What enormous innovation did she wrought?” Did she find the cure to HIV or create the next best thing in tech? Neither, but Jamila’s tenacity, purpose and passion made her worthy of note.
In Obama’s words, “Jamila is not a fashion model. She started a door-to-door laundry company to employ more youth and teach them entrepreneurial skills. And she hopes to take what she learned during her time at Dartmouth University to meet her goal of getting 1,000 youth to work in or run their own businesses. So we are proud to be your partner, Jamila.”
Jamila Mayanja was one of the young African entrepreneurs who participated in the United States program for Young African Leaders [YALI] in 2015.
Born into a family of fourteen  children, Jamila lost her father in 2007. The alumna of Nabisunsa Girls School and the Makerere University Business School has volunteered with numerous organizations, including The Uganda Youth Talent against Aids and the International Republican Institute (IRI), which spearheaded the Green Light Movement.
In 2011, Jamila co-founded the Haven Anti-Aids Foundation in order to sensitize the youth HIV/AIDS. She also worked with Generation Change-Uganda Chapter, a US- sponsored project that inspires youth to bring positive change to their communities.
Jamila runs a door-to-door laundry service in Uganda called J Mobile Laundry Service which helps its employees save enough money to launch their own businesses. Apparently, she hated washing clothes and her problem birthed her big idea.
Jamila founded J Mobile Laundry Service just over a year ago in Kampala, and the business is thriving as it has amassed a workforce of over thirty  young women with a focus on disadvantaged youth. The company moves door to door providing domestic laundry services. She employs young persons in order to give them simple work while developing their entrepreneurship skills so as to keep the train moving and ensure that they are able to build their own enterprises which will in turn, create more employment.
J Mobile Services in partnership with Rotary Uganda has seen 10 of the 30 girls establish their own businesses.
A consummate marketer with professional experience spanning six  years, Jamila also owns a text marketing business.
For Jamila, the key is to ensure that women are empowered. She doubles as the Founder of the CEO of Smart Girls Uganda a company that empowers young girls and women through trainings to build their self-esteem, leadership and governance skills.
From volunteering to entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, Jamila shows us in spectrum, limitless possibilities through the simplest of methods.
© 2016 – 2017, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.