Tugende’s New Faces

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It’s been a while since we updated the blog, and I apologize, but things here in Kampala have been busy and exciting. We’ll have more updates about our growth and new partnerships soon, but first, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to some new members of Team Tugende.

To help manage our growing loan portfolio, increased admin, and the many projects we have in the queue, we hired Paul Sselunjoji, an incredibly talented university student to work full time.

We also recruited three fabulous summer fellows, Nicholas Rodrigues, Jonathan Saunders, and Christopher Harnisch. The summer team is helping is further improve our operations, develop and launch a social impact tracking system, do market research and many other great projects. More about each person below.

Thanks for the continuous support, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more frequent updates and pictures! –Michael

Paul Sselunjoji

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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.

Why Paul is excited to join Tugende: “I’m so passionate about transforming Uganda and [Tugende] happens to be one of the businesses I see that can transform the livelihoods of Uganda, especially the youth.”

Nicholas Rodrigues

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“I just finished my 1st year of MBA at University of Colorado at Boulder. I used to work as a corporate consultant with Accenture in the public and private sector.”

Why Nick is excited to work at Tugende:

“I was attracted to Tugende mainly because of it’s clever solution, compelling business case, and the ability to travel in the region.”

Jonathan Saunders



“I have been living in New York, mainly Brooklyn for the past 9 or so years. I currently attend Columbia Business School. Prior to school I did a pre-MBA internship at Imprint Capital, an impact investing advisory firm and prior to that I worked at JP Morgan in the Private Bank, where I focused on the hedge funds on JPM’s platform.”

Why Jon is excited to work at Tugende:

“What drew me to Tugende was the opportunity to work on something exciting and unique that is actually helping people and making a difference. Additionally, I’ve always wanted to get hands on experience in a developing market, and Tugende is the perfect opportunity.

I’m really looking forward to experiencing the Ugandan culture and getting to know the people. Before this opportunity arose, I had never even thought about visiting, let alone moving to Uganda, so I’m looking forward to see what a summer in East Africa will be like.”

Christopher Harnisch
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“I’m currently working on a joint Master’s in Global Affairs and MBA at Yale.  I’m originally from Fairfax, VA.  I’ve spent my career so far in the military and public sector.  I’ve worked at the Peace Corps, the White House, and as a forward deployed soldier in Afghanistan.”

Why Chris is excited to work at Tugende:

“I’m really looking forward to doing something completely new and different.  What drew me to Tugende was the opportunity to get a little bit of business sector experience in Africa.  When I finish up at Yale in a couple years, I’d like to do some sort of work in emerging markets, either in Africa or the Middle East.”