Frederick Nshimiyimana, 26
Frederick grew up in Rwanda, and aims to finish his college studies in Business Administration and Management this year. In late 2012, he began Matunda Clays which became Mbonera Ltd in early 2014, expanding outward from what at first was a business working to create bricks and tiles. As he wanted to turn his startup into a fully functioning business, Frederick took the opportunity to come on board with Grow after being introduced to the movement through a representative at a Rwandan entrepreneurs’ meeting.
Hailing from South Africa, Grant has been living in Ghana and parts of West Africa for over two years now, working within the Economic Community of West African States. Grant has an extensive background in International Business and the economics inherent in emerging markets. While working on his doctorate, Grant was researching a move toward working with sub-Saharan entrepreneurs, when he came across Grow.
Business challenges and objectives of the project
Frederick faced a very cramped market with stiff competition from large, established players. Working with Grant to identify key business challenges, three major hurdles emerged: fundraising, marketing himself and his business, and differentiating himself from other competitors. With Grant’s mentoring, Frederick started learning the ins and outs of strategic planning and internal organisation to better understand his product and grasp the notion of turning his vision into a viable project-based opportunity. However, this would prove difficult due to difficulties in finding reliable connections through which they could communicate.
Mutunda Clays is now in operation and Frederick has been able to reevaluate his initial project and venture toward expansion. Working with Grant and Grow has given him a very thorough grounding in approaching business along with the motivation and encouragement that helped build his self-confidence. His profits have increased by 5%. Frederick views his experience as an essential first step towards future success, and hopes to implement the business and marketing lessons within future projects. He is now focused on investment for machinery to help improve productivity and product quality, working with Grow’s partner in Rwanda, EDUCAT to help raise this finance.
The Impact on Frederick
“Now I can understand the concept of my business: I know how it works, and I’ve learnt how to manage it. I needed to know that I have to focus on what my objectives are, how I can meet them, and the basic knowledge of business performance. When I was introduced to the basics of doing business, I was excited and felt encouraged to learn about business in the real world. I’m thankful for all we’ve done together. I now feel like the sky is the limit”
The Impact on Grant
“I was always very keen on learning, and it was the opportunity to try and give something back and help, and learning a little bit about working with entrepreneurs in southern Africa – that was my motivation. I think Grow’s a wonderful initiative this was an enlightening lesson in empowering entrepreneurs. I will rejoin, and I’ll encourage a few of my friends in West Africa to become Grow volunteers.”