17 Mar 2022
A team composed of career guidance, employability services and two academic staff visited UR-CAVM students and graduates entrepreneurs whose projects are already on the market from 7-12th March 2022. This activity covered many parts of the country including Musanze, Nyabihu, Burera, Gicumbi, Gatsibo, Nyagatare, Bugesera and Kigali City.
The purpose of this activity was to mapping out CAVM students and graduates innovators whose projects were nurtured at CAVM and are already active on the market. The team wanted to be sure if the projects are really operating, their achievements and the challenges are facing in order to advance the CAVM coaching and further support which can be provided to its graduates entrepreneurs.
During the visit, ten projects were visited and their CEOs presented some achievements as well as challenges they are facing such as : lack of entrepreneurship skills to make their project real businesses, lack of lab equipment, low level of selling, high cost equipment of lab, low capital investment, renting land and houses for production, costly irrigation facilities, storage facilities are lacking, companies not yet registered in RDB, Packaging not yet improved, lack of access to lab analysis, insufficient financial capital, lack of soil analysis facilities, low profits due to lack of awareness, difficulties in getting more training to the members, insufficient land for research, no industrial based machines and many competitors on market.
Regarding strategies and way forward, the team together with graduates entrepreneurs visited suggested the following : to boost the activities for more benefits and stability of the organization, members have to be trained for knowing how to pitch, Increase the capital through more connections, Increasing the income and buy their own land, avail irrigation & storage facilities, improve packaging, registration at RDB, keeping in touch with CAVM and their mentors, free access to CAVM lab for one year bonus, increase returns and avail industrial based equipment, Maggot production in East-province, continuous collaboration with CAVM research in grants writing, more connection with partners, Increase its capital and buying machines as well as houses for offices, Standardize bakery products, raising visibility of their products and join E-selling platforms like Rwanda Martt online selling.
All graduates entrepreneurs visited appreciated the continuous support provided by CAVM through curricular given at college, and extracurricular empowerment like : classroom courses, entrepreneurship training, mentorship, coaching, incubation, seed capital from competition, external networking, and continuous on-site coaching and mentorship received before and after completion of their degree programs.
Reported by Jacqueline UMUPFASONI
PR& Community Engagement Office