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Stories have always had the power to enthrall, to engage, and often to change lives, and for Noreen Asenkenye, founder of Tell a Story Foundation Uganda, that is her motivation. She is passionate about looking out for the vulnerable, and through storytelling she is helping them deal with their distress. Noreen is an enthusiastic fundraiser, and through Tell a Story Foundation, she has successfully run fundraising campaigns for children with autism, two young girls raised by single mothers, and the current Together for Good campaign, a Covid-19 relief fundraiser benefiting vulnerable families with income relief. Noreen is a cohort 35 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellow, Cohort 18 Reignite Africa Young Leaders Fellow, and a recent graduate of the 2020 Zimba Women Business Program.
Tell a Story Foundation Uganda is a non-profit organization using stories and acts of charity to influence change within us, our communities and the world at large. We carry out bonfire nights to relive telling stories around the fire places just as our grandparents did. We also profile and share inspirational success stories of young men and women impacting lives. Because we believe that our stories are a solution, we run fundraisers for the less privileged in our communities to better their lives.
“Coming from an African society, I wanted to connect more to the earliest form of communication, which was through stories, I believe so much in the power of a story to turn bad into good and good into better.”
What inspired you to start your company?
Coming from an African society, I wanted to connect more to the earliest form of communication, which was through stories, I believe so much in the power of a story to turn bad into good and good into better. I was also very interested in knowing how people’s days went and the good work they were doing for humanity. I was surrounded by people who were contributing to their societies positively but no one knew them or even their work – I too was among them. So I thought to myself, why not create a platform to celebrate these people, their inspiration, work, passions, lessons and every single milestone they have made.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Tell a Story is for everyone and not just a specific group of people. Its roots are from the oldest form of communication which is story telling. We share authentic stories told by real people to teach humanity how to connect, care, empathize and love more.
Tell us a little about your team
We currently have a group of volunteers who devote their time and resources to the growth of our projects.
“We share authentic stories told by real people to teach humanity how to connect, care, empathize and love more.”
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I did not learn from anyone about starting a non-profit. I was only passionate about writing, knowing people’s stories and how they can be used for the good of others. I entered into an unknown space and learnt from it; I am still learning. I always say Tell a Story is my teacher.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I am looking forward to seeing Tell a Story grow in other countries, profiling and sharing stories of people from other parts of the world and having a historical archive for every story shared.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
The joy in sharing a story and knowing that someone has seen a piece of themselves in it and are inspired to be and do better. The smiles on every person we support through a fundraiser keeps me more committed.
“Tell a Story is for everyone and not just a specific group of people. Its roots are from the oldest form of communication which is story telling.”
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Do what you can from wherever you are and with what you have. Tell a Story Foundation started with zero Ugandan shillings, my idea was my capital and the only available resource I had. Do not wait to have enough to chase your dreams. Only start and once you do make noise about your business. People should remember you for what you do. Use whatever available opportunity whether it is a physical meeting or online chat to throw your face at people. Leave a mark about the work you are doing. It does not matter if you are walking the journey alone, keep moving, walk your truth, not everyone will believe you, just move, the right people will eventually find you.
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