SOAP MAKING BUSINESS IN UGANDA

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With a population of 37.58 million (2013), Uganda relies on a number of imported consumer products, owing to its landlocked status.

Soap is among the (most) widely used commodities besides salt and cooking oil. Mukwano Industries, is the main producer of Laundry bar soap (Star, Chapa Mukwano and Chapa Nyota brands). The Ugandan market is also home for a few imported brands from Kenya made by BIDCO and KAPPA oil refineries. (Actually, Mukwano Laundry soap brands alone can never satisfy the Ugandan market even as the Kenyan manufacturers export (on small quantities) to Uganda under strict in-house budget policies and under duress-just to maintain their presence in the country).

Besides the high population, Uganda is, unlike Kenya, endowed with local resources for soap making. Palm oil, among other oils is found in abundance in the vast western parts of the country along Uganda/Congo boarder at Kiburara township. All the way in Bwera, Kasese up to Kilembe, you will find local farmers vending cheap crude palm oil freely  along the road sides.

However, much of the Ugandan palm oil is found in Bugala islands in Kalangala district-off the coast of Lake Victoria- where thousands of hectares (over 20,000) are under plantation of Palm Oil trees. (This project was initiated by the Ugandan government in collaboration with a Malaysian company-Wilmar Group, BIDCO and World Bank in 1992, illegally displacing hundreds of farmers that inhabited the neighboring environs). Sunflower oil, produced in abundance in Tanzania also finds its way easily into the Ugandan market. Sunflower is cheap and one of the best raw material for soap making.

With one company (Mukwano Industries) dominating the lucrative business, (supplying over 37 million consumers on daily basis) and a few other brands from Kenya trying to augment the national supply from Mukwano, upcoming local investors in this field stand high chances of cashing in on this lucrative business. All a new entrant needs is to gather little courage, and extend similar services and products to the very customers Mukwano supplies!

Unlike bathing soaps, Laundry bar Soap is a commodity that requires little start-up capital and marketing tricks. Customers are easily buoyed by a new product or low priced products, and this is the only magic you have to rely on to give the old guard a near run for his money! If you can produce a foaming, lathering product with good cleaning abilities, potential customers won’t mind the producer or origin of the brand.

What else is required for a new entrant in this business to succeed? Of course some knowledge in manufacturing (actual formulation) and a few marketing tips. The right machinery (either for small or medium scale manufacturing) is not an option. An engineering firm in Kenya sells some of the most efficient and advanced soap making machines in Africa. The types, such as SSP-133™, SSP137™, etc from Express Marine Engineering Corporation are fairly priced and come in handy when a manufacturer-to-be anticipates supplying over 200 dozens of bar soap every week.

An added advantage for soap production in Uganda is that the producers can supply their proxies like Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, South Sudan, etc, citing the good regional economic ties and favorable cross border business policies between these states.

It is interesting to note that even with as many as 1,000 medium scale producers of varied brands of Laundry bar soaps, the optimum supply of the commodity on this vast market cannot easily be achieved.

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Soap Making Equipment Destined for Uganda.

Our modern training centre is located at Millennium Flats, Basement floor Suit LG 5 along Kamiti Road, Githurai 44 off Thika Super Highway. Individual classes are conducted daily apart from Sundays

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Soap Plodder SSP133™ noodling

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High quality super fine finish colored bars made by SSP133 ™

Call us on this number 0723424240 for details

50 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Sir / Madam
    Thank you for full information about soap making business in Uganda or other east Africa counties . Could you please tell me the price of the Sodium Hydroxide ( Lye ) per kilo gram in Kenya . My name Abdi and I am interested to establish soap business either in Uganda or Kenya .
    Best regards
    Abdi
    abdirazak2012@gmail.com

  2. thanks for the information but i would like to know the price of coastic soda because i really want to start that project

  3. thanks so much for this great information. sir how can I enrol for soap making training in Uganda.

    • Hello Robert, feel free to travel to Kenya for the professional training delivered by our highly qualified Soap experts. Accommodation here in Nairobi is relatively cheap and the environment conducive for learning. Training entails comprehensive theory, followed by practicals and all other relative information pertaining to soap production, including Oil bleaching processes, Coloring, Packaging, branding, machine operation etc.

  4. am into soap making even though at small scale level but having a great desire and vision to go on large scale as such I desire to have official training from your end. How do I realise my dream.

    • Hello Robert, you have a valid Vision. You can choose a day to visit us for professional training that will include, among other things, Comprehensive Soap making Theory, Thorough Practicals, branding, packaging, introduction to KEBS standardization Procedures and raw Material sourcing.

  5. I would like to know where I can access palm kernel at a relatively cheaper price. I’m in Kampala where its being sold at 8,000Ugshs n this has made my soap project not cost effective. Any reference shall be appreciated. Thx. TIMOTHY

      • How much is your training? And I want to make white bar soap just like white star made by BIDCO is it possible ? If so send me pics of any white bars of soap you have made and then I see! Thank you!

        • Hello Pidson, we charge Ksh. 4,500 for the whole course. Training focuses on Raw material selection and sourcing, pH stabilization, Appropriate soap dyeing/coloring techniques, quality control, price calculation and weight determination. We can train you to make a pure white soap. Please provide us with your WhatsApp number we send you the photos of what our students have made

  6. Thanks alot for the info. Am in Mbale Uganda & I hope to come for that traing in a short while.
    Do you also have the Chalk, Shampoo, Petroleum Jelly and Shoe Polish Making Packages/Trainings?

  7. I am Mawa Moses Much interested to start up a business of making soap in my districts. I have seen your company conversations with many interested persons who vision is the same like mine. I would like train in making soap, (both liquid and solid bar soap) and jelly, sampooo. Please advise me on the whole cost of the trading, period and the price of the machine SSP 133 it. My Tel: +25677569600

    • Hello Moses, thank you for your interest in consulting us. Shampoo training is charged at Ksh 4,000. Bar soap, liquid detergent and Jelly are charged ksh 4,500, 4,000 and 8,000 respectively. The for courses will take a minimum of three days.

      SSP-133 ti goes for USD 3,500. The newer version is available and will more features which include Overload monitoring panel meter, Overload sensors, Flood light for night operation,

  8. Thanks so much for your information. my dream is about knowing about making bar soap and Jelly. can you give me the cost of training? what is the ticket from RWANDA KIGALI? HOW ABOUT LODGE?

  9. thank you sir for your enlightenment! however, my question tends to focus on what’s the exact quantity for measurements of raw materials if one is using cold process soap making and one wants produce in large quantities? thanks

    • Hello Dut. The units of measurement of the raw materials are Grams and kilograms. Different types of products require different quantities. For soaps, both quantities expressed as weigh and ratios apply. Please talk to to us on WhatsApp no +254 723424240 for more information and elaboration

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