Rate this
0 (0 votes)
"Competitors had to show the sustainability of their business"
0 out of 5 based on 0 user ratings

"Competitors had to show the sustainability of their business"

A plan to produce and sell toothpicks from bamboo plants in Rwanda was just one of the proposals from young entrepreneurs to win an award last month. It was part of an innovative scheme set up by local and international partners, reports David Masengesho, 25, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Kigali.

In the evening of Saturday 10 December, Junior Chamber International Rwanda, the local chapter of the international youth network, hosted the Terimbere Business Plan Competition Award Ceremony at Kigali Serena Hotel. Terimbere in the local language of Rwanda means “move forward”.

The Terimbere Business Plan Competition launched on 15 June last year with the purpose of encouraging new entrepreneurs to grow their business. It was organized by a group of dedicated and passionate young people in partnership with the National University of Rwanda and the support of two Dutch organizations, SPARK and BiD Network.

Founded by Henry Giessenbier in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Junior Chamber International is a membership-based nonprofit organization of 200,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 40 in more than a hundred countries. Each JCI member shares the belief that “in order to create lasting positive change, we must improve ourselves and the world around us”. JCI Rwanda was created in 2007 with the objective of encouraging more entrepreneurs in the Rwandan economy through training, workshops and study tours.

Over 700 business plans were received for the first ever JCI Rwanda business plan competition and 150 were selected, the owners of which received a one month training on writing business plans.  The trainees were asked to submit their final business plans immediately after the training, however only 121 trainees could submit theirs on time. Of these, the best 30 business plans received awards.

Before announcing the winners of the Terimbere challenge, Ms Lydie Hakizimana, outgoing president of JCI Rwanda said: “Everyone is a winner but only 30 are going to be announced and awarded this evening after selection based on lots of things like original business ideas, writing business plans and sitting for interview, whereby competitors had to show the sustainability and profitability of their business”.

The competition was an opportunity for aspiring business persons to write down their ideas and figure out their implementation to create work schemes among young people – who make up more than half of the Rwandan population.

The first Terimbere Challenge winner was Mr Jackson Ndayambaje whose business plan was about rural house lighting which would help rural people to save money spent on lighting fuel. The second award went to Mr Isdore Nzeyimana who presented a business plan about making an environment and family friendly cooker, while the third award was received by Mr Gabriel Cyamatare who proposed building a factory that produces toothpicks from bamboo plantation to stop the importation of toothpicks from China.

Other Terimbere challenge winners included Ms Emma Claudine Ntirenganya whose business plan involved establishing an independent women’s radio station, Mr Ernest Bucyayungura with a business plan on mushroom growing and Ms Clementine who proposed producing decorations created by street women.

The event was also marked by the swearing in of a new executive committee for JCI Rwanda for 2012, as well as the showcasing of activities during 2011 by the outgoing members and the presentation of an action plan for the following year.

The ceremony ended with a speech from a representative of the Ministry of Youth, Mr Albert, who said he appreciated the efforts of the organizers of the Terimbere Business Plan Competition – namely JCI Rwanda, the National University of Rwanda, SPARK and BiD Network and the participants.

He reminded those present that there is no good hiding one’s business idea fearful that others will steal it. Rather it is good to share the idea since you can find partners and improve your chances of implementing it. He ended his speech by wishing everyone present at the event merry christmas and a prosperous new year.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

About me:

“I work as intern/trainer at Digital Opportunity Trust Rwanda in its Reach Up! program where I deliver a livelihood, ICT and business training course to community participants. I work as research assistant at the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department.

“I am passionate about empowering communities and have been involved in different community development activities such as gender equality, women empowerment, youth advocacy, climate change and. I like networking, travelling, meeting different people of diverse backgrounds and exploring different cultures.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments