In 2010, Regina Nakayenga, then a lecturer at Kyambogo University, attended a workshop on value-addition for crops and fruits organised by the Catholic Women Guild at Kireka Catholic sub-parish.
The training introduced them to making juice and wine from pineapples, passion fruits, oranges and mangoes. Two weeks after the training, Nakayenga made her first can of wine. To perfect her art, she sought further knowledge in processing juice and wine by attending training at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute and Makerere University Food Science and Technology department.
In 2015, she decided to upgrade her status to reach further markets by getting a quality mark and around the same time, Private Sector Foundation Uganda advertised the Matching Grant Facility.
Regina applied for a grant to carry out three activities; determine the viability of the Hibiscus juice market, development of a market strategy and for quality certification from Uganda Bureau of Standards.
To get the quality mark, Rena Beverages had to adhere to best practices in the manufacturing processes. The certification boosted the image of her products, resulting into increase sales. She also recently got an investment license from Uganda Investment Authority.
“I encourage people to work diligently in whether they are doing because opportunity comes to those who are prepared. Look out for opportunities like the Matching Grant Facility and have the confidence to apply,” Nakayenga concludes