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  • WHAT WE DO

    Creating opportunity through ownership by kick-starting financial independence for Ugandan motorcycle taxi drivers (boda bodas).

     

    Tugende provides motorcycles to recommended drivers in a lease-to-own arrangement. If paid on time, the drivers own the bike after 19 months or less. Ownership allows drivers to save money they would normally spend renting, and provides accumulated savings in the value of the paid off motorcycle. Because the weekly payments are only 15-20% higher than the market rental rate, there is little marginal cost to our clients when making weekly payments.

  • OUR PROCESS

    These are the core steps in our process allowing responsible boda drivers to become owners

    Application & Education

     

    Applicants for Tugende leases come primarily from existing networks of trustworthy boda boda drivers and recommendations from passengers. Potential drivers must complete a three-week course on safety, company rules and customer service.

     

    Screening & Vetting

     

    Drivers that complete the education course are then thoroughly vetted through our client screening methods. These include scores of creditworthiness, in-person family visits and a pledge of support from the leader of the driver's stage (location and group with which each driver is affiliated). Our process helps identify the most trusted, responsible and committed lease recipients.

     

    Payment Collection

     

    Once selected, drivers select a brand new motorcycle of their choice (primarily Bajaj Boxer) and begin making weekly payments. Our standard lease is repaid over a 19-month period with principal and interest components. All drivers have the option to repay earlier (at no penalty) thereby offering considerable potential savings in interest payments. Payments are entirely cash-less and made by drivers via mobile money or e-payment kiosk(PAY-WAY).

    Ownership

     

    Upon completion of the lease, the title to the motorcycle is signed over to the happy driver and he begins doubling his daily take-home pay!

     

  • WATCH HOW WE DO IT

    A short 40-second video that illustrates our process.

  • OUR IMPACT

     

    When drivers own their motorcycles and stop renting, their profits double.

     

    But ownership is more than that. It creates the job security of knowing your tool for earning a living and helping your family is yours to keep. It allows for better savings and puts your future in your own hands, not a landlord's.

     

    Learn more about the problem, and the opportunity:

     

    In Uganda, and particularly the capital Kampala, motorcycle taxis (boda bodas) are a popular option for darting through heavy traffic jams or avoiding slow public transportation. Driving a boda boda is one of the best available jobs for young men with little education. Take home earnings are up to $5/day in a country where 65% of the population lives on less than $2/day.

     

    However, most of Uganda’s boda boda drivers rent their bikes indefinitely from landlords who can remove the bikes at any time. Thus job security is low and many drivers struggle to build savings and have no easy path toward financial independence. In the capital city of Kampala alone there are conservatively 100,000 boda boda drivers. There are even more drivers in smaller cities in Uganda, and in rural areas, where instead of traffic, poor roads and a lack of public transportation make motorcycles equally important to the transport economy.

  • A VEHICLE OUT OF POVERTY

    Watch Co-founder Michael Wilkerson's talk at the 2012 Unreasonable Institute to hear how

    motorcycles really are a vehicle out of poverty.

  • MEDIA

    See what others are saying about us!

    New Vision

    September 16, 2015

    "Dubbed Maisha Boda Insurance, the micro insurance product launched by Tugende, a for-profit social enterprise in partnership with Lion Assurance and Liberty Life, seeks to enable boda boda cyclists access life insurance services at a low cost."

    Akilah.net

    August 2015

    "Here are East Africa’s 10 most promising startups."

    Take Part World on Pivot TV

    February 6, 2015 

    "Enter American entrepreneur Michael Wilkerson, who created a sustainable enterprise with his local business Tugende, which puts more money in the hands of those who need it most."

    BBC

    March 27, 2015

    From Kampala, the BBC's Roderick Macleod meets the Ugandan entrepreneurs working on interesting and safer ways to ferry passengers around.

    Daily Monitor

    March 17, 2015

    On a Wednesday morning just off Bukoto-Kisaasi road, hundreds of boda boda riders jam into a room to get lessons on road safety and financial management [at Tugende.]

    Venture Capital for Africa

    January 30, 2015

    “Tugende is doing vitally important work with a tested, and proven, business model. But most importantly, Michael, like all the best entrepreneurs, is all-in.” - Rich Leimsider, Vice President of Echoing Green

    How We Made It In Africa

    March 12, 2015

    “Our best protection against challenges is making sure that it’s a good deal for the driver.” - Michael Wilkerson, Tugende CEO

  • PARTNERS

    We are grateful for the support of the following partners

  • OUR TEAM

    Irene Mary Achomo

    Accounting Officer

    Irene earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from Makerere University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Management from the Uganda Management Institute. Before joining Tugende, she worked with multiple NGOs including Youth Alive Uganda and the Energy Uganda Foundation.

     

    Abdul Karim Mugerwa

    Credit Officer - Jinja

    Karim attended Makerere University where he earned a bachelors degree in Environmental Management. He loves playing and watching football in his free time. He joined Tugende in July 2016

    Suzan Aguti

    Customer Service Officer

    Suzan holds a Diploma in Physical Planning from the Institute of Survey and Land Management. She joined Tugende in March 2015 and is now in charge of Tugende's health insurance dubbed Maisha. Suzan loves field work and is learning to ride a motorcycle.

     

    Suzan Aketch

    Collections Officer - Kampala

    Suzan holds a bachelors in Business Administration from Makerere University Business School. She worked with MTN Uganda as a Verification administrator before she joined Tugende in June 2016. She likes reading, travelling and making discoveries in her free time.

    Mary Gorret Alinda

    Head of Collections

    A graduate of Uganda's National Teaching College, Alinda handles Tugende's collections, including working with the field team to make sure clients pay their weekly dues on time. She also sits down with clients to help them better understand and manage their leases.

    Agatha Atusasire

    Credit Officer - Mbarara

    Agatha holds a Bachelor's in Guidance and Counselling from Bishop Stuart University-Mbarara. She enjoys reading, helping youths and interacting with clients. She joined Tugende in late 2014.

    Naume Awero

    Credit Officer -Kampala

    Naume is the only known female boda boda driver in Kampala. After proving herself as a responsible Tugende client and respected driver, Naume joined us full-time in April 2014. She has since paid off two boda bodas from Tugende, loves her work and still rides whenever she can. She is an inspirational leader who encourages other women to participate in fields that are traditionally exclusively male and to become financially independent.

    Denis Balidawa

    Collections Officer - Jinja

    Denis graduated from Makerere University with a  Bachelor's degree in Statistics. He then worked with Educate as a data entry consultant before joining Tugende in June 2016. He plays soccer, does research and travels in his free time.

     

     

    Franz Biije

    Senior Credit Officer - Kampala

     

    Franz graduated from Kyambogo University with a Diploma in Mechanical and Production Engineering. After graduating he worked as a technician in Luuka plastics, but soon joined our team after hearing about Tugende’s pleasant working environment. He’s passionate about applying his technical expertise to support successful operations. He is also pursuing a Bachelors Degree in industrial engineering and management from kyambogo University.During his free time, he loves telling funny stories and watching soccer.

    Matt Brown

    Co-Founder & Advisor

    Formerly a journalist and Aga Khan media fellow in Uganda, Matt is now a law student in Toronto. Though not back in Uganda as often as he would like, Matt still plays an active role in advising on Tugende’s strategy and promoting the brand in North America.

    Patra Busingye

    Office Manager

    and

    Assistant collections officer

    Patra joined Tugende in 2014. She loves helping customers when they visit Tugende and enjoys keeping the office nice for all staff and clients. She's proud of the certificate in computer applications she earned through Tugende's career development program. She is a proud mother, who spends her free time playing with her son and daughter.

    Sam Elghanayan

    Chief of Staff

    Sam graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University as a John Jay Scholar. A serial entrepreneur, Sam also has experience on the other side of the table in venture capital and finance. She recently worked with MIT’s Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in Sierra Leone.

    Fred Jomo

    Collections Officer - Kampala

    Fred attended Uganda Christian University where he graduated with a Bachelors in Public Administration and Management. He worked for Comboni Samaritans as a field officer before joining Tugende in June 2016. He loves bird watching and reading in his free time.

    Macknon Kabuubi

    Credit Officer - Mbarara

    Macknon earned a Degree in Development Economics from Makerere University. He worked as a teaching assistant with Nsambya Hillside schools until he joined Tugende in June 2016. He spends most of his free time in the gym.

    Hussein Kakembo

    Senior Security Officer 

    Hussein holds a certificate in psychology, and is a respected security expert. He boasts 17 years of experience in public management. Hussein has worked as a community counselor, a primary health worker and an organizer for a youth leadership development organization in the Makindye area of Kampala.

     

    Zeridah Kalijja

    Senior Credit Officer - Kampala

    Zeridah worked at PZ Consults as an operations manager before joining Tugende in October 2015. She holds a Degree in Adult and Community Education from Kyambogo University. She finds the staff at Tugende friendly and listens to gospel music in her free time.

     

    Herbert Kalule

    Salesforce Developer

    Herbert graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering. He worked at Grameen Foundation Uganda as an associate Software Developer before joining Tugende in January 2016. He is responsible for Tugende Salesforce.com CRM development and administration. He loves reading, travelling and sports activities during leisure time.

     

    Matija Kamikovski

    Director of Finance

    Matija is a Deloitte management consultant alumnus with a strong finance background, including as a CFA Charterholder, client training executive, and economic analyst. Matija holds a Bachelors of Business Administration with High Distinction from University of Toronto.

    Elizabeth Kifuko

    Credit Officer - Jinja

    Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Makerere University Business school. She’s worked with D.K & Co. Certified Public Accountants as a an accountant trainee before joining Tugende in June 2016. She loves travelling and watching Television.

    Lenus Kiirya

    Credit Officer - Mbarara

    Lenus attended Makerere Business School where he graduated with a Bachelors in Makerting. He then worked as a Marketor for RENA Beverages and Kingsan International before joining Tugende in June 2016. He likes making friends and playing basket ball when free.

    Raymond Kiiza

    Operations Coordinator - Kampala

    Raymond graduated with a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Benedict Technical College. He worked with Yuvraj International before joining Tugende in 2015. He treasures the new skills and knowledge he's developed ever since, while still enjoying spending his free time farming.

    Christine Kobusinge

    Collections Officer - Mbarara

    Christine worked with Greenlight Planet as a marketer before joining Tugende in October 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from MUBS. She's excited to have joined Tugende. Outside of work, Christine enjoys dancing, swimming and eating.

    Sylvia Kwizera Lubowa

    Human Resource

    and

    Customer Services Officer

    Sylvia graduated from MUBS with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She is also a Human Resources Guru with a Postgraduate Diploma in HR from Uganda Management Institute. Before joining Tugende, she worked as a Learning and Development Cordinator at Standard Chattered Bank. She likes networking, travelling and exercising.

    Manishul Lwanga

    Credit Officer - Mbarara

    Manishul holds a Bachelors in Business Administration specializing in Finance from MUBS. He's worked with M Products as a Productions and Stores Manager before joining Tugende in October 2015. He finds the environment and staff very friendly. In his free time, he enjoys surfing the net, watching soccer and travelling.

    Sharon Makara

    Collections Officer - Kampala

    Sharon joined Tugende in July 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Procurement and Supplies Management from Kampala International University. She loves going to church, reading and watching movies.

    Florence Mbabazi

    Credit Officer - Mbarara

    Florence graduated with a degree in Community based rehabilitation from Kyambogo University. She first worked with Youth Intergrated Development as a project officer before joining Tugende in June 2016. She likes making friends and listening to music.

     

    Simon Peter Mbaziira

    Collections Officer - Jinja

    Simon Peter is a former marketer with Uganda Breweries Limited. He joined Tugende in October 2015. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Development Studies from Kyambogo University. He finds Tugende cheerful and watches soccer in his free time

    Christopher Mubangizi

    Collections Officer - Mbarara

    Christopher worked his way from a Tugende client to an employee in 2013. He takes pride in Tugende's care for its team, including the higher salary it provides, which he says has significantly improved his way of life. Christopher is also excited at all he's learning thanks to the continuing education and computer classes that Tugende is sponsoring. Off-duty, you will find Christopher at a football pitch or in church.

    Shamid Mukalu

    Credit Officer - Jinja

    Shamid is a Degree holder in Procurement and Logistics. He previously worked with Prudential Assurance as a sales person and joined Tugende in June 2016. He’s a motivational speaker who likes travelling and listening to music

    Ronald Mutebi

    Collections Officer - Jinja

    Ronald graduated with a Bachelor's Degree of Commerce in Accounting from Makerere Business School. He worked for the Uganda Electoral Commission before joining Tugende in March 2016. He enjoys listening to music in his free time

    Andrew Mwenda

    Director & Advisor

    Andrew is a noted Ugandan journalist, TED fellow and founder/owner of The Independent magazine (Uganda). He was the first investor in Tugende, a current board member and has provided extensive mentorship, connections and help navigating Uganda’s bureaucracy.

    Mariet Nafula

    Credit Officer - Jinja

    Mariet holds a Degree in Procurement and Logistics Management from Kyambogo University. She joined Tugende in October 2015. She loves travelling and watches movies in her free time.

    Immaculate Nakiyingi

    Senior Collections Officer - Jinja

    Immaculate worked with Quality Management Services before joining Tugende in April 2015. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies from Makerere University. Immaculate finds it fun to work with boda boda riders and enjoys Tugende’s fun-loving environment. In her free time, she likes watching movies, chatting with friends and exploring new places.

     

    Rebecca Namudosi

    Credit Officer - Kampala

    Rebecca holds a Bachelors Degree in Microfinance from Kyambogo University. She worked with Solar-now as a credit officer before joining Tugende in June 2016. She likes reading, watching movies and soccer

    Solome Namuli

    Executive Assistant

    Solomy holds a Diploma in Mass Communication and Journalism. She is enthusiastic about her work, loves travelling, writing and reading. She joined Tugende first as an intern in July 2015 and officially in October.

    Barnabas Nkwasibwe

    Collections Officer - Mbarara

    Barnabas holds a Degree in Development Studies from Mbarara University. He was a Credit Officer with Nyakasa Sacco before he joined Tugende in June 2016. When free, Barnabas watches football.

    Robert Nsadha

    Security Officer

    Robert holds a Diploma in Business Studies from MUBS. Before joining Tugende in June 2016, he worked with Mukono-Bikes as a sales personnel and service manager. He plays and watches soccer in his free time

     

    Pius Nyakatura

    Field Technician

    Pius holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Kikwamba Technical College. Before joining Tugende in July 2015, he worked as an electrician at Thino Hydro - Karuma. He plays football in his free time.
     

    Isaac Paul Odeke

    Field Technician

    Isaac holds a Diploma in mechanical engineering from the Lira based Uganda Technical College. He worked with Tiva water Ltd and Luuka plastics before joining Tugende in January 2016. He enjoys touring, football and reading.

    Joseph Odoi

    Senior Collections Officer - Kampala

    Joseph holds a Degree in Procurement and Supplies Management from MUBS. He worked with Hima Cement before joining Tugende in 2015. He loves travelling, making friends and playing soccer.

    Dennis Omondo

    Collections Officer - Kampala

    Dennis is a former check-in agent at Entebbe International Airport. He joined Tugende in October 2015. He holds a Bachelors in Social Sciences from Kyambogo University. He loves driving, watching soccer, movies and debating.

    Geofrey Onen

    Credit Officer - Kampala

    Geofrey worked with Sector Creative Media as an Assistant Operations Supervisor before joining Tugende in October 2015. He holds a diploma in Business Management from MTAC. When he's not working, Geofrey plays basket ball, watches movies and goes out with friends.

    Wilberforce Osuro

    Collections Officer - Mbarara

    Wilber is a former salesman with Galaxy fm. He holds a Degree in Social Sciences from Kyambogo University and joined Tugende in June 2015. He loves field work, reading and watching television.

    Peter Owor

    Operations Coordinator - Mbarara

    Peter worked as a team leader at Crane Bank before joining Tugende in November 2014. He holds a Degree in Social Sciences from Kyambogo University plus a Diploma in Sales and Marketing from MTAC. In his free time, Peter loves dealing with clients.

    Lucy Oxby

    Head of Business Analytics and Research

    Lucy graduated in 2011 with a Masters of Physics and most recently worked as a research scientist for the British Geological Survey. She developed an interest in using business to drive poverty alleviation whilst working in tourism in West Africa.

    Aaron Pattillo

    Director & Advisor

    Aaron joined the team as an early investor and board member. He helps with the company’s fundraising efforts in the U.S. along with providing guidance in ongoing strategic and operational activities. He has a background as a successful social entrepreneur as a co-founder of Khunu along with experience leading some of the pioneering work at the Clinton Foundation to significantly reduce the price and expand the global access of HIV/AIDS medicines.

    Paul Sselunjoji

    Operations Manager

    Paul is an alumnus of the prestigious Educate! youth leadership development organization (which also has Colorado ties) and he is studying industrial engineering at Kyambogo University here in Kampala. While still a high school student, he won a nation-wide business plan competition and has helped set up several small scale businesses–including selling fertilizer on credit–near his home village of Hoima.

     Moses Tutu

    IT Lead

    Tutu earned a Diploma in database management and web designing from the Business and Computer Institute in London. He led IT development at Vine Pharmaceuticals before joining Tugende in December 2015. He loves travelling and plays rugby in his free time.

     

    Evaristo Twesigyemukama

    Senior Collections Officer - Kampala

    Evaristo holds a Diploma in Accounting and Finance from Kyambogo University. He joined Tugende in July 2015. He now heads the Tugende Protection Unit and watches soccer whenever he has time.

    Mansur Wembabazi

    Operations Coordinator - Kampala

    Mansur is a bio-medical engineer who graduated from Kyambogo University. He worked with Dash Technologies before joining Tugende in 2014. He loves solving complex challenges and interacting with a wide variety of people, and is glad that he gets to indulge in these passions at Tugende

    Michael Wilkerson

    CEO and Co-Founder

    Michael first visited Uganda at age 19 and has returned every year since then. He began his career as a journalist with internships at Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper in 2006 and Independent magazine in 2008. He graduated with a BA with honors from Stanford in 2009, and returned to Uganda as a Fulbright Scholar working as a journalist and political science researcher.

    Bosco Yambye

    Collections Officer - Kampala

    Bosco holds a degree in Adult and Community Education from Kyambogo University. He worked as a supervisor at MARS Consults before joining Tugende in October 2015. He conducts research and goes to church in his free time.

    Emmanuel Yetware

    Marketing

    and 

    Senior Credit Officer - Kampala

    Emanuel joined Tugende in 2015 after receiving his Bachelors in Tourism and Operations from Nkumba University. He's been enjoying working with such diverse customers and colleagues, and is grateful for the chance he's had to already work in all 3 of Tugende's offices.

    Ismail Zikusoka

    Operations Coordinator - Jinja

    Ismail graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. He worked in the Planning and Strategic Management Department at Kira Teachers Sacco before Tugende. Ismael is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Monitoring and Evaluation at the Uganda Management Institute.

    Sylvia Katusiime Kusemererwa

    Human Resource Manager

    Sylvia holds a Masters of Science in Human Resource Management and a Bachelors of science in Education. She is a family person and a proud mother of four. She enjoys working with people, cuisines, watching movies playing Golf and Chess. She is proficient in all HR functions including Administration, basic Finance and Procurement

     

    Moses Kargbo

    Financial Controller

    Moses is an experienced chartered accountant from Sierra Leone, a financial and business consultant with over 10 years of senior professional experience in industries such as construction, service delivery, auditing, transportation, hospitality , insurance, NGO’s and a financial institutions. He loves nature and especially visiting the countryside, watching movies and exercising.

  • KEEP UP WITH US

    Follow our awesome progress!

  • TAKE ACTION!

    Love what we're doing? Think you can help? Here are a few ways you can get involved.

     

    Donate. Every week new drivers stream into our office excited for the opportunity to become their own boss. Tugende is growing quickly, but our waiting list is growing faster. Every donation shortens the time it takes us to get a quality driver his own motorcycle and on the path to stability and higher income. Any amount helps, and if you leave your contact information, we'll send you details about the driver whose motorcycle you helped buy. For larger amounts, and options like sponsoring an entire motorcycle, contact us directly at info@tugendedriven.com.

     

    Apply Your Skills. Coming to Kampala for a while, or want to help out remotely? Tugende currently needs high-skilled assistance in all kinds of things including accounting and finance, web design, improving our social impact tracking, and planning how to reach tens of thousands of customers in the near future. If any of this gets you excited, especially in combination with motorcycle taxis and economic empowerment, let us know!

     

    Recommend a Driver. Live or (have lived) in Uganda and know a great boda boda driver? Put us in touch by sending a note through the contact form! We are currently focusing on expansion in Kampala but happy to hear about great people in any part of the country to keep on our list as we grow.


    Sign up for our Newletter. Get Once-in-a-while updates via email from us by signing up here.

     

    Find Us.

    HQ Office

    Plot 573 Kezilone Road
    Left off Bukoto-Kisasi Road near Pakalast Pub
    Bukoto Market Area
    Kampala, Uganda

     

    Find us on Google Maps here and below.

     

    Toll free: 0800900848

     

    Our office hours, when applicants should first visit, are 9am-12pm on Wednesdays.

  • CONTACT FORM

    Drop us a line to recommend a driver --

    or to get in touch with anything else on your mind.

  • COME SAY "HI!"

    We're always excited to meet other boda boda enthusiasts

  • Social Feed

    Check out Tugende's latest updates!