Herve left his job as an accountant at an insurance company to set up his business. He was drawn to self-employment because he wanted to be in control of how much he earned. Not having any business experience, Herve’s first step was to attend a training course for entrepreneurs organised by the Rwandan Government. Feeling more confident, he then went on to set up a piggery. Noticing there was unmet demand in the market for meat products like sausages and meatballs, he applied for and got a bank loan which he invested in meat processing equipment.
Rick is an independent consultant with over 25 years’ experience in the private sector and international development. He is passionate about international agribusiness development and believes providing technical support to small/medium size enterprises in developing economies is the key to global development.
Herve joined the Grow programme only six months after setting up his business. One of the key areas he felt he need to improve on was his confidence. “Moving from a culture of employment to entrepreneurship was challenging. I wanted to build my confidence to make decisions as a business owner and learn how to handle employees.” To achieve this Rick and Herve covered the key aspects of business management including financial management, marketing, customer relations and human resource management.
Following the program, Herve says he is now much more confident when making business decisions because he now has the ability to analyse his financial data better. He and Rick developed a template that allows him to track his revenue per product. This analysis allowed him to see which products brought in the bulk of his revenue and enable him to make the decision to discontinue some products lines that were performing poorly. He says his discussions with Rick about putting systems in place to manage his employees, selecting and building relationships with the best suppliers and low cost marketing strategies, have been invaluable.
Herve’s business has grown since taking part in the program. He has seen a 15% increase in profits and hired three additional staff including two sales agents, a farm manager and store keeper.
Herve’s plans for the future are to expand his facility to enable him supply to the whole East Africa region. He is currently seeking investment through the BiD Network, an organisation that connects emerging market entrepreneurs to investors. You can see his business profile here.
“It built my confidence in making decisions as a business owner. I learnt so much. I could not believe how much expertise I was getting access to at no cost. People who don’t join this programme are missing out.”
“I gained insight into the mind of an African entrepreneur which is beneficial to me in my work. It’s a shared experience that provides an opportunity for people who may never have crossed paths to work towards a common goal. It’s almost like a gift you give each other.”
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