Ugandan entrepreneur breaks into hurling market

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A UGANDAN entrepreneur has come up with a novel invention for hurling players and others to carry their sports equipment.

A UGANDAN entrepreneur has come up with a novel invention for hurling players and others to carry their sports equipment.

Daudi Kutta, who moved to Ireland a decade ago and has a Masters in international entrepreneurship management from the University of Limerick, said he was inspired after seeing two men on a bicycle travelling with their “sticks”.

“One guy was steering the bike and he had some ‘sticks’ in his hands. The guy told me that the ‘stick’ was a hurley and it was used to play with. The guy on the back of the bike had a big bag and two helmets in his hands.” After realising that there is no similar product on the market, he set about designing an “innovative” sports utility bag to hold hurley or camogie sticks and helmets in separate compartments. The bags vary in size and can carry up to five hurleys. He applied to the LEAP programme, which provides business coaching, and was granted a space in the Enterprise Acceleration Centre in Limerick Institute of Technology, and then went to on conduct market research to develop a prototype. He received a grant from Enterprise Ireland and has now patented the product. “My product is unique and I am at the stage where I need to put it to the market,” said the chairperson of the Clare Intercultural Futsal League.

Daudi’s story emerged this week at the launch of a report on ethnic entrepreneurship in the mid-west region, which was commissioned for Doras Luimni, the local support group for migrants, and undertaken by the Kemmy Business school at the University of Limerick. The report examined two sets of entrepreneurs - those in the planning phase, and those who are established, and investigated what assistance is available to ethnic businesspeople.

Most entrepreneurs highlighted their lack of awareness of training programmes offered by support agencies, government bodies and other training providers. Overall, the report found that communication between ethnic entrepreneurs and government bodies or support agencies is “very poor”. Gordon Kearney, president of the Limerick Chamber of Commerce, said “the research is very useful as it highlights the potential of migrants to participate in Irish society through entrepreneurial ventures that can create jobs and contribute to the Irish economy.” See www.sazasport.com for more details on the sports bag.