From Passion Project to Profit: How a Ugandan Military Veteran is Revolutionizing East African Cuisine

Daisy Smith’s entrepreneurial journey and the military program that is empowering veterans to start successful businesses

Daisy Smith, a Ugandan-born military veteran, has always had a passion for cooking authentic East African food. After realizing a lack of options that catered to her taste buds in the United States, she decided to turn her passion into a business. Starting with selling samosas at local farmers markets, Smith quickly found success and is now ready to take her business, Litto’s East African Cuisine, to the next level. With the help of a program specifically designed for active-duty military members, military spouses, and veterans, Smith and others like her are gaining the tools and resources they need to succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

A Recipe for Success: Starting Small and Growing Big

Smith’s journey began with a simple idea and a small investment. With just $200 from her paycheck, she started selling samosas and other African dishes at local farmers markets. The demand for her authentic East African cuisine quickly grew, and she made upwards of $12,000 in one summer. This success encouraged her to expand her business and cater for small groups, including Super Bowl parties and Valentine’s Day events. Smith’s story is a testament to the power of starting small and growing big, proving that not every business needs a large initial investment to thrive.

Empowering Veterans through Entrepreneurship

Smith’s success story is not unique. Many military veterans possess the skills and drive necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs. Recognizing this potential, a program has been developed to provide veterans with the tools and resources needed to start and grow their own businesses. The program, taught regularly at multiple bases across New York, covers everything from starting a business to developing a business plan, managing finances, and marketing. It aims to empower veterans to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, whether as a side business or a new career adventure.

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A Versatile Program for Any Industry

The program is not limited to a specific industry or business type. It caters to individuals with a wide range of interests and skills. Whether it’s woodworking, construction, landscaping, or real estate development, the program equips veterans with the knowledge and support needed to succeed. The classes offer a platform for veterans to vet their ideas and turn them into viable business ventures. This versatility ensures that anyone with a passion and a dream can find the resources they need to make it a reality.

Pursuing Passion over Profit

Smith’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is simple yet profound: “Do something you like, don’t do something because it’s selling.” She emphasizes the importance of pursuing one’s passion rather than chasing trends or profits. Smith’s passion for cooking authentic East African food has been the driving force behind her success. Her story serves as a reminder that true fulfillment and success come from doing what you love.

Conclusion: Daisy Smith’s journey from a military veteran to a successful entrepreneur is a testament to the power of passion and the support that programs like the one she participated in can provide. With the right resources and guidance, veterans are finding new opportunities to pursue their dreams and build successful businesses. The program’s emphasis on starting small, pursuing passion, and providing comprehensive business education is empowering veterans to create their own paths to success. As more veterans are equipped with the tools they need, the landscape of entrepreneurship is diversifying and becoming a more inclusive space for all.