When Stellah Nantumbwe aka Ellah won the 2013/14 Miss Uganda crown a lot of opportunities opened up, the world flung its doors open.
In 2016, she scooped a lead role of Isabella Arroyo in the Ugandan version of telemundo soap El Cuerpo del Deseo which went on to be
nominated at the Uganda Entertainment Awards in 2017 for Best TV Series.
Instead she chose not to bask in glory but embarked on a daunting task not many celebrities or socialites would gladly accept, upgrading her books with a view of steering social entrepreneurship.
It is upon this background that the 28 year old has been pursuing a Master of Science degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at HEC
Paris institute situated in Jouy en Josas to further equip her change the narrative.
Established in 1881, the institute is ranked second in Europe as far as business studies are concerned.
“The goal is to foster innovation through the establishment of innovation centers to equip young business owners with the necessary
skills to build sustainable businesses. As an aspiring social entrepreneur, the businesses that I create and support should target
social inclusiveness and aim to illuminate social issues.”
Ellah had earlier obtained a BSc in Business Computing at the University of Greenwich in England.
In a recent interview with State owned New Vision newspaper, she disclosed that although Uganda is one of the most entrepreneurial
countries in the world, the business mortality rate remains scary.
“Our new businesses have a short lifespan and present a significant absence of innovative ideas and poor business management techniques. This can be attributed to myriad reasons,” Ellah said.
Ellah further revealed that she believes formal education with an extension of practical learning to encourage and boost innovation
would create a conducive environment to effectively address the unemployment issue.
Specifically, she partly attributed joblessness to a lack of understanding of proper business principles and opportunities to apply
the techniques in practical situations with minimal real-life repercussions.
Additionally, Ellah intimated that female entrepreneurs are confronted by the age-old problem of defying social expectations in the business world.
“There’s unseen pressure exerted on women to take on a generally ‘male
persona to be able to fit into the any male dominated industry,” she said.
Asked how she has been able to scale heights, Ellah attributes it to a few events in her life such as; moments where life has forced her to
rebuild, situations that have challenged her, loss, failure and adventure.
“I’m inspired by my mother mostly. I believe she deserves all the accolades. I’m also inspired by the uncertainties the future holds.
Due to this, I have no reason to get comfortable with any of my achievements,” she reveals.
“This is the reason I have always been a hard worker and a strong believer in doing my absolute best with the resources made available to me and reaping the benefits of consistency and determination,” Ellah sums it up.
According to the 2018 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) statistical abstract, although the total working population increased by 1 million from 2013/14 to 15 million in 2016/17 year, overall unemployment rate was at 9.2%.
At 13 percent, females experienced higher unemployment rates than males who fared slightly better at 6% as of 2016/17.