Lilian Katiso is a Kenyan entrepreneur and an accountant running a chain of three flower and plant outlets in Uganda.
She has been featured in several Ugandan leading publications because of her business including being named one of the top 40 under 40 inspiring influential women in Uganda.
However, when she first moved to Uganda from Nanyuki, she was an accountant with a degree from Daystar University in Athi River in Kenya, a career that she continued to pursue for more than 10 years.
She landed accounting jobs from referrals and from social media a Non-Governmental Organisation that she was working for lost its funding.
Narrating to Chams Media on, Daring Abroad, Katiso recalled the life-changing events nine years earlier after she was rendered jobless, stating that her curiosity about an article in the newspaper was the beginning of her next journey.
“I saw an article about someone growing herbs and I thought it was very interesting and unique so I wrote to the editor to ask for the contact of the person.
“On the same email, someone else was asking for strawberries and I happened to have been growing some so I offered to give them away. When the writer came to my place, she was impressed with my plants and wrote a story about my small garden,” she narrated.
After the article, some people who believed that she was selling the plants reached out to her and when the phone calls kept coming, she decided to start a business selling plants to other people.
"When I started out, I was calling it green gifts and gardening because people buy bouquets of flowers and they die within a week yet if you gift someone an orchid, it stays for a long time.
"A plant you give someone keeps on growing, it is a gift that keeps on giving. And later on, I changed the name to Maua and More because they were more than just flowers," Katiso added.
Katiso had since opened three outlets growing more than 5,000 species of plants and had collaborated with different institutions including the Garden City in Uganda, creating jobs for other Ugandan professionals.
As her business continued to grow, her clientele base expanded and she began selling to different cooperate institutions that wanted to create a better ambience for their employees as well as decorate.
She stated that some of the flowers she sold were imported from the Netherlands, Thailand and other countries abroad because of the increasing demand for exotic plants.
"Now I am growing 5,000 species. The business was growing and the speed at which we were selling was higher than the speed at which the plants were growing, so I started buying from other people. Over time cooperate organisations wanted the flowers too because of the idea of greening the office," Katiso added.
She encouraged other entrepreneurs to find gaps in the professions they love and create solutions to do something that they both enjoy and still earn good money.