Fatuma Musanase was attending to her clients when I arrived at her meat shop in Kivumu cell of Busasamana sector, Nyanza district.
After exchanging pleasantries, we settled in for an interview. Clients would interrupt every now and then for an order and going by the busyness of her shop, business was succeeding. This was true, for a few minutes into our chat; Musanase delightedly revealed that regardless of the fact that she ventured into business with only Rwf 300,000 her business currently generates a monthly profit of Rwf1.2 million.
How it all started
It was her late mother's inheritance that set a foundation for her business. When her mother passed on, Musanase and her other siblings received cows as part of their inheritance. She had consequently sold her cow for Rwf 300,000, and it was this amount she used as start-up capital to set up a small shop.
Musanase was lucky to have studied Economics in high school; this was at Ecole Secondaire des Parents de Nyanza (ESPANYA), she used these skills to set pace for her business.
A few years into trade, she wanted more. Musanase wanted to expand her business but this called for more capital and she didn't have this. The struggle went on for some time until she learnt about Business Development Fund (BDF) and their role in facilitating Small Medium Enterprises with access to finance.
"I was fortunate to learn about this institute through media houses, they were raising awareness on how it finances different business plans," she says.
Luckily Musanase had started saving and she had Rwf 500,000 on her account, she thought it wise to approach BDF for a loan that would help top up her savings, and with this amount she would embark on expanding her business.
"I went to BDF and inquired about the process I had to go through in order to access the loan. I learnt that the only requirement was for me to have a business and an account in SACCO," she recalls.
"I also approached SACCO to inquire on how they work with BDF and then I presented my business details to both," she adds.
By fulfilling the requirements, she then received the loan from BDF.
"Initially BDF gave me a loan of Rwf1.5 million and together with my savings of Rwf500, 000, it totalled up to Rwf2 million to continue running my business. This increased sales and I managed to pay back the loan," she says.
Venturing into meat selling
After witnessing the success of her business with her first loan, Musanase desired to achieve more. She went back to BDF to request for another loan and this time she wanted to start up a meat shop, this was last year.
"I went to BDF and told them that I need another loan to expand my business. I requested for Rwf 3 million, I received the money last year in September and immediately started a butcher shop," she says.
The female entrepreneur buys and slaughters ten cows every week. She then retails meat from her shop which is located in front of Busasamana SACCO in Nyanza town.
A Kilogramme of meat is sold between the range of Rwf3, 000 and Rwf2, 000 depending on the meat's quality. This means that a Kilogramme of fillet (boneless meat) costs Rwf3, 000 while the one mixed with bones goes for Rwf2, 500 per Kilogramme whereas offal meat (variety meats) goes for Rwf2, 000 per Kilogramme.
"We slaughter ten cows per week. I buy one cow at a cost that ranges between Rwf230, 000 and Rwf240, 000. From each cow, I generate a profit range of Rwf20, 000 and Rwf30, 000," she reveals.
Musanase says she amasses profits equalling to Rwf200, 000 and Rwf300, 000 every week. This amounts to Rwf800, 000 and Rwf1.2 million every month.
She has been able to own three cows worth of Rwf3 million to her name and two bicycles- these help in transportation for the business. Each cow has a value of Rwf1 million while the value of both bicycles is Rwf500, 000. "I also bought a motorcycle at Rwf1 million that also generates income for me," she proudly says.
Musanase now has four employees and is proud to be making an impact in their lives.
"They are able to satisfy their families' needs, they can afford to pay for community based health insurance premiums among other things," she says.
Musanase commends BDF's efforts noting that she owes them the success in business.
"Without BDF's intervention, I could not have gotten the money that I have invested in this business," she notes.
Some of the challenges that affect her business include cases where some cows purchased turn out to be infected with diseases. This she says translates to losses.
"If a veterinary doctor finds a problem with the meat, I automatically count losses. We urge farmers to cater for their cows so that the situation does not affect us eventually," she says.
She now aims at setting up a model butchery, an exemplary one, though this, she says requires expanding the work place.
This also means increase in amount of meat sold, equipment and increment of employees.
"I will need at least another loan of Rwf6 million from BDF to continue making my dreams come true," the entrepreneur says.