Webale Nyo: Life Lessons from Uganda

When Steve Sprieser arrived at Illinois he brought him a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. As a Vernon Hills High School student, Sprieser had worked with others to raise $40,000, which was used to construct a primary school in rural Uganda.

As he acquired new skills in his new business classes, he envisioned taking the Uganda project to the next level. This time, it would be done from a business perspective. “My mission,” he says, “was to conduct economic development through business and economic education for low-literate learners, an often-missed demographic.”

Sprieser connected with Professor Viswanathan, Dean Collette Niland, and the principals at Illinois Business Consulting-the College student consulting group-who helped him to secure funding and to organize his return to the school in Uganda. Generous financial support was provided by George and Amanda Hanley, regular benefactors of the College of Business.

This past summer, Sprieser travelled to Uganda to teach 25 low-literate Ugandan citizens business skills that will help them to make the most of their limited resources. With direction from Professor Viswanathan, he gave a one day seminar on the function of marketplaces, how to be a better consumer, and the basics of building a small business.