We are thrilled to introduce you to one of our newest partners, Bodalivery! Growing up in a family deeply involved in the business space, Ivan's affinity for entrepreneurship is palpable. Our initial interview with him was a captivating journey through the inception of Bodalivery, a story woven with resilience and ingenuity. Alongside three companions, Ivan recognized a unique opening to bridge essential services to people amidst the pandemic.
Bodalivery's genesis can be traced back to the lockdown period, a time when commonplace human activities were abruptly halted. Yet, even in these trying circumstances, the community's need for basic tasks like shopping and medication persisted. Bodalivery emerged as the intermediary that connected families with markets, patients with medications, and more.
Currently, Bodalivery offers a range of services to the Gulu community, including business-to-consumer delivery, parcel and package delivery, business-to-business delivery, as well as personalized shopping assistance for their customers.
Business is Never Easy
Despite being in operation for three years, Bodalivery's journey has been far from effortless. Just like any startup in the District of Gulu, they've encountered their fair share of trials that come with launching an innovative business with limited resources.
"In the outset, we began with just one motorcycle and shouldered all administrative duties ourselves. Later, we received a donated motorcycle for deliveries, but regrettably, one was stolen by bike thieves," recounts Ivan.
However, these challenges were merely the tip of the iceberg for their forthcoming year in business. The team soon realized that, despite their familiarity with other business forms, they lacked comprehensive knowledge about running a delivery service. It was time to find solutions.
"We gathered to redefine our strategies and recognized that there were obstacles requiring external support in order to enhance our service provision to the intended markets. Concerns related to rent, bookkeeping, and customer care arose. We were even uncertain about how to appropriately price our services."
Sometimes a little knowledge can go a long way
In October 2022, an exciting opportunity arrived when Elephante teamed up with Sinapis, a faith-driven entrepreneurship training program. We extended an invitation for local entrepreneurs to apply and partake in a nine-week business class. Bodalivery was one of the enterprises to attend the course, and we were thrilled to formalize a partnership with them shortly after.
"We realized that we were attempting to navigate uncharted waters without a compass. Enrolling in the Sinapis business class was an illuminating experience as we engaged with mentors who possessed seasoned business acumen. They empathized with the very challenges we were confronting and offered actionable remedies. This was a pivotal moment for Bodalivery."
Becoming an Elephante Partner
In March 2023, we extended a warm welcome to nine new partners, inviting them to join a community of visionary change-makers committed to the common good.
Brit Neely, founder of Elephante, reflects on the unanimous decision the Elephante Partnership Committee made to welcome Ivan to the family.
“Ivan is exactly the kind of young visionary we look for in a partner. He is innovative, resourceful, dedicated, and extremely hardworking. He is also humble, generous, and he has proven time and time again that he cares deeply about his customers, his employees, and the community at large. We love what Ivan adds to our community, and what Bodalivery can do for Gulu.”
Presently, Bodalivery is collaborating with the Community and Communication Lead to fashion an app that expands their online operations, welcoming more riders and drivers aboard. This trajectory of growth is a testament to our collective aspirations.
"Stepping into Elephante is an experience like no other; we find ourselves amidst a collective of individuals ardently pursuing meaningful contributions to our community. Here, we connect, converse, and network, an aspect we lacked before. Acquiring office space relieved a burden while simultaneously introducing us to an enriching network and a sense of security."
These partners were bestowed with office spaces and the invaluable opportunity to partake in the Sinapis business class. In addition, mentorship in refining business pitches has been ongoing, coupled with the exceptional privilege of presenting these pitches to potential investors.
What the future looks like
Most Businesses that have walked through our doors have struggled to define their target market and too often set their sights broadly, trying to please everyone without properly identifying the target market, resulting in all of their marketing efforts being seen by the wrong people, which makes it much more challenging to convert them into customers.
For Bodalivery, success looks like a new set of clients, especially in the Elephante community. But most especially, they realized that their target audience wasn't just everyone but also the corporate and business communities of Gulu. Equipped with the right knowledge, Bodalivery has grown its client base by over 10% since the Sinapis Aspirer Launchpad, from the usual number that sought their services before.
And just like Bodalivery would put it, “waa gang,” loosely translated as till home, do not hesitate to reach out to Bodalivery for all your shopping needs when visiting or in Gulu, because your convenience matters.
As a community, we're super excited about streamlining local movement, and we're really hoping for an office-to-office package within Elephante! But then we still have steps to count on a daily basis! But, here's where the warm and fuzzy feelings come in. We couldn't be prouder of Bodalivery and the amazing impact they're having in Gulu. We are truly honored to play a small role in their remarkable journey.