Described as a real entrepreneur and ethical leader by his consultant, Justin has managed to simultaneously run a business and take on a PhD program in Project Management; making him a person of business and science. Established in 2011, Kungubu is a fish farming company located in Cyangugu. Justin found fish farming to be an attractive industry due to the fact that for many years Rwanda and other neighboring countries, like Burundi and Congo, have been relying on fish supplies from Uganda. The large unsatisfied demand for fresh fish motivated him to establish his own company and begin to grow fish in ponds. Today, Justin is working hard to provide his community, local hotels and different hospitality establishments in Rwanda with good nutrition.
Valerie Salone, 42
Valérie is a business consultant and owner of NEIA Consulting; a small consultancy company which specializes in sustainable business development and social innovation. She has been working on various development projects for Africa. Valérie says she strongly identifies with the values represented by Grow Movement and believes that ‘entrepreneurship is the solution to support different countries and global growth’. She decided to become a volunteer and use her business experience and skills to contribute to the development of social entrepreneurship in Africa, a subject very close to her heart.
Business challenges and objectives of the project
The main challenge Justin had to face was managing his business while studying. Valérie helped Justin develop different strategies to ensure that the business was well managed. In order to cut costs Justin and Valérie have developed a new concept for the business including the production of fish feeds, which previously Justin was buying from factories in Uganda. This will ensure that the business will become more sustainable and autonomous.
Facing high demand and tight supply, Valérie and Justin worked on developing more effective ways of managing the fish ponds by implementing the value chain concept. As a result, Justin learned about stocking and sampling his fish. Furthermore, they created a plan to initiate a participative cooperation with people from the village in order to make the business grow without necessarily increasing the investment, which will create an even greater value for the local population.
Justin describes the experience he had as a ‘huge transformation’. He understands the market segment much better than before, and has a clear vision how to manage the business. The result has been a 3.7% increase in profits and the creation of two job positions. Justin has hired a General Manager and a Sales Manager, who handle the whole process, allowing him to focus on developing the business concept further. Recently he has established contact with a Chinese supplier of fish feed making machines. Since no factory in Rwanda produces those feeds, Justin is working hard to buy such a machine and produce his own feed instead of importing from Uganda.
The Impact on Justin
“My dream is to expand the business and satisfy the high demand on the market. Now I know how to do strategic planning in my business, manage staff members, and how to integrate the market and the community in general into the business. After the consultations, talking about the value chain, the market, the size of production and the demand, it showed me different ways to restructuring the business. And the business is getting along very well because of that”.
The Impact on Valerie
“The experience helped me take more confidence in myself, which is important. I had confirmation that I was able to help people. Although I do it in my everyday life, through my business, Grow Movement showed me that I can have a greater impact. In my consultancy company I am involved with sustainable innovation, but it represents a very small part of the business, this project helped me to keep growing on this subject as well.”