Stephen always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. After analysing several ideas, he finally settled on farming because it made good use of available resources, seemed like a viable business option and was also a way for him to positive impact on his local community which he was important to him.
Sam is a seasoned management consultant with a career spanning over 30 years with over 250 assignments completed in 21 countries including four in Africa. Sam heard about Grow through a colleague while on assignment in Lesotho and felt it was a good way to put his numerous skills at the disposal of African entrepreneurs who he was keen to support.
Stephen was running several agricultural activities and a poultry project. He joined the Grow programme because he wanted help consolidating his different initiatives into a sustainable business. He and Sam therefore worked on developing a detailed strategic business plan with a strong focus on the financial plan. Currently operating on leased land, the business plan would also enable Stephen to apply for a bank loan to purchase his land and expand his projects.
The process of developing the strategic business plan equipped Stephen with planning and analytical skills which he has been able to apply in all aspects of his business. “I am now able to plan. I can do an analysis and decide which activities to do. I am even able to analyse how much profit I make per bird.” As a result he says his poultry stock increased, profits have risen by 75% and he has hired three more people including a manager, gardener and sales agent.
Their discussions about sustainability have also impacted Stephen’s future plans. He now plans to buy a grinding machine which will allow him to make more from his maize harvest and at the same time provide chicken feed for the poultry project. He hopes to expand his business so he can provide employment to more unemployed youth in his community.
“The experience was very exciting. Sam taught me so much. He gave me a book about small scale farming from which I am learning about different techniques being used around the world. He inspired me and helped me to understand my importance in the world”
“I have enormous regard for Stephen’s energy and determination. He’s been incredibly resourceful at getting a lot done at low cost using local materials. For example he build a chicken coup out of some old tea chests he got for free. The sheer amount of sweat equity he puts into business is incredible. It was a great pleasure working with him.”