When Victor Kiyingi 42, lost his job at a local non-government organisation in August 2013, life did not only become difficult for himself but his family too. “There I was, a father who was not able to feed my 6 children nor take them to school.”
During that time of unemployment, Kiyingi attended an industrial training from where he acquired the skill of making children toy cars from wood. He registered his unique initiative with a brand name, Mr. Toys.
Kiyingi first made five toy cars and tested them on his children. The toy cars are for children between the ages of two to five. After he tested the toys and realized that they were good and children will like them, Kiyingi took them to some parents who instantly liked them and ordered for more. With a skill, what Kiyingi lacked was capital. He needed money to buy machinery to begin production.
Kiyingi shows toy design sketch
In January 2014, Kiyingi got a loan of Shs500,000 (USD 180) from UMF for a period of six months and invested it buying machinery. “I was assured of demand for my products but I lacked money to implement my vision that’s why it was a great relief for me joining Kawempe Kwagala Development Group and acquiring a loan that boasted my efforts to be self-employed,” says Kiyingi joyfully. His weekly instalment was Shs26,600 (USD 9.6).
Kiyingi started by producing 20 pieces a month. With the loan, he increased his production to 80 pieces a month. He sells a small toy at Shs15,000 (USD 5.4) and Shs20,000(USD7.2) for the bigger ones. Kiyingi has set up a workshop in his home and employs one full time employee. Two others work on part time basis.
“To date I have sold over 450 toy cars. At the moment I make 100 toys a month up from 20 pieces a month before I got the loan” – Kiyingi
“To date I have sold over 450 toy cars. At the moment I make 100 toys a month up from 20 pieces a month before I got the loan. I want to produce more because surely there is demand for my products,” says Kiyingi. “I earn approximately Shs500, 000 (USD 180) a month from my business. I am now able to support my children in school and look after my family very well. My plan is to increase production to 200 toys per month, for then my profits will also increase.”