Rwanda: How Circumstances Led 22 - Year-Old to Start His Enterprise

10 September 2019
opinion

When he lost his mother at a tender age, Greig Herero Kimenyi was left with his father, who was all he had to depend on.

By then, he was in primary four in Muhanga District, where he also hails from.

"Although life wasn't the same, at least I had a parent who took care of me and at the same time saw me through my primary education," he said.

As fate would have it, Kimenyi lost his father while in high school leaving him in the care of his stepmother.

The twenty-two year old narrated that although his stepmother managed to help him complete his high school education, life took a different turn as he had to help out in some responsibilities.

It's through this that pushed him to look for odd jobs immediately after completing high school in 2015.

He managed to secure a job as a waiter at Just Chill restaurant in Kigali.

With a salary of Rwf 70, 000, Kimenyi was dedicated to make things possible since he had no one to rely on.

"At first, I wanted to save so that I can continue with my university education, but as time went by, I got inspired by what I was doing and the idea of starting my own enterprise came up," he said.

He narrated that his late father was a business person doing agribusiness, led him to consider follow his footsteps.

Moving forward

Kimenyi said although he had other responsibilities, he vowed to save Rwf 40,000 monthly with aim of starting his own business.

He worked at the restaurant for two years which he says saw him gain experience on running a business.

"I used to see how the business was generating income and at the same time, learn from coworkers how they managed to work. I kept asking myself how I could put that effort in my own business?" he wondered.

Early last year, with the little capital he had from the saving and others from the friends, Kimenyi started his own business prodcuing fresh juice.

He opened the business at the same building he was working from.

Currently, he has two Fresh Juice shops, at Makuza peace plaza and another in Kisimenti, Remera.

The shops focus on making fresh juices, smoothies and fruits as well as making cocktails, tea and coffee.

Kimenyi also managed to enroll in a campus (Christian University), where he is undertaking an IT course.

"Despite the challenges, at least I have been able to do something in my life that will see me independent, this is the biggest motivator because the sky is the limit," he said.

From one shop, Kimenyi says he gets earns a profit of Rwf 150,000 to Rwf 200,000 depending on how good the business was.

The money, he said apart from paying school fees and house rent, he also saves with the plans of venturing into agribusiness in future.

"Am still working on both my business with the aim of becoming the best fresh juice shop within the country and regional as well," he added.

The challenges, he said there are still many people who don't believe in what he is doing, simply because of his young age and some even think he won't make it.

He added that the market of fresh juices is still low among people where they don't see the value of consumption of fresh smoothies, with a big number opting for those from supermarkets.

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