Rather, her story is one of perseverance and defying incredible odds. When Rubirizi conceived the idea of starting her flower company in 1992, she did not think it would be all that tough. While she knew getting the flowers to a hungrier market outside Uganda would be a tall order, she did not think that getting the start-up capital from any of the financial institutions in the country would turn out to be an even bigger challenge.
"The flower business is one of the industries that require good money to start," she says.
Rubirizi moved from one financial institution to another, looking for credit. But many of these told her they could not risk putting so much money in such a venture. It was not until she approached dfcu bank that she got a breakthrough. Rubirizi says she received Shs 20m from dfcu, which she added to the Shs 30m she had saved to begin her company.
Looking back, Rubirizi has few regrets; her future, she says, is bright. She exports stalks to bigger markets in The Netherlands. But not many women are as successful as Rubirizi. And this is not that many have not tried. As Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the International Women's day today, many businesswomen continue to face society prejudices, which have limited their opportunities and impacted on their companies.
However, experts say women simply need to improve their branding and packaging to tap into bigger markets. According to Maggie Kigozi, the former executive director of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), and now one of the directors at Pepsi, it has come down to the quality of products women are producing.
"Opportunities are so many among multinationals. They want you as much as you need them, but your product must be of the required standard," she said. "Government might not help you break into companies like Pepsi. It's up to us to go back and think of what these companies need exactly. They will not turn you away because you are a woman," she added.
In September 2011, Wal-mart, the world's biggest supermarket, announced an initiative to forge deeper linkages with small businesses owned by women around the world. The initiative also aims to provide retail training to 200,000 women internationally and disburse $100 million in grants for women entrepreneurs, among others.
Maria Odido, the producer of Be Natural honey, who was awarded the 2010 Project Incubator award for her innovative and sustainable project in East Africa, says it also goes down to the way one packages the product. "I had to first study the market," she said. "I package for different markets, but I make sure it's attractive enough to attract the customer," she says.
Odido also warns that women shouldn't expect any special favours because of their gender. "I don't know what happens, but you find that a woman's paperwork comes up so badly (during the review of bids) and they lose the opportunity right away."
Rubirizi, however, advises women entrepreneurs not to take a no for an answer. "If a company tells you they don't need your product, keep on trying."
Dr Gudula Naiga Basazi of Gudie Leisure Farm, based in Najjeera, Wakiso district, which supplies groceries to some of the supermarkets in town, offers a different idea on how women need to break into the market. "We need to come together and be able to raise the required quantities," she advises.