Many students go to school with pocket money but few ever thought that they can save some of it to start up a venture. Shaffy Hagenimana, a 27-year old young entrepreneur hailing from Ngoma District in Eastern Province is one of the few who saved up pocket money and started an enterprise. Shaffy Hagenimana. He managed to save up Rwf7,000 from his pocket money as capital to start beekeeping with ‘two beehives’ when he was in Senior Five. Doing Business caught up with him during the recent closing ceremony of the International Trade Fair (Expo2020) at the Expo Grounds in Gikondo – Kigali. The efforts of the young entrepreneur led him to become the ‘best exhibitor as young entrepreneur’ through his company dubbed “Holly Trust Ltd”. “I started thinking of business when I was a senior five student in 2012. And all products that my company produces today can be traced to a beekeeping venture where I invested Rwf7,000 as capital I had saved from my pocket money,” he said. Hagenimana who was suffering from respiratory complications at the time said he was always in need of honey and later started pondering how to ensure its availability without spending a lot on buying it. “I also realized that many other people buy honey from our home. I thought of how I can spend pocket money as capital to produce honey. In 2012, I spent Rwf7, 000 of Rwf12,000 pocket money buying two beehives and also paid workers to install them. After six months I harvested 12 Kilogrammes of honey,” he said. He said that he kept two Kilogrammes for consumption and sold 10 Kilogrammes. “I got profits from selling that honey and invested in more beehives to increase production,” he said. The young entrepreneur said that after completing secondary school in 2014, he realized that traditional beekeeping could not generate big profits if not modernized. He went for short courses in food processing and post-harvest technologies in China which boosted his skills in value addition to different products. “I thought of modernizing it and adding value to honey to produce skin scream. I designed a beekeeping and honey value addition project which competed with other young entrepreneurs’ projects and I secured Rwf700,000 cash prize from Dot Rwanda which I spent to expand the business,” he said. Expansion to avocado processing In 2017, Hagenimana started research on avocado farming. He said that he carried out the research on realizing that during peak harvesting season, avocadoes would be sold at giveaway prices or rot away in the fields. “I realized that the project could help farmers to get market for avocados. We started processing avocado into avocado oil and later also produced soaps and powder used as tea. We supply both local and export markets. We mostly export soap to the west African region,” he said. The enterprise currently employs 67 workers of whom 12 have permanent contracts while others are part time workers. “We process 500 Kilogrammes of avocado per day as raw material. We have ordered modern machines with production capacity to process nine tonnes of avocado per day. We have been producing between 600 litres and 1,000 litres of avocado oil per month. The factory, he said, produces about 2.2 tonnes of avocado oil, soaps and avocado powder per month altogether. He said that avocado oil is packaged in 750ml bottles sold at between Rwf10, 000 and Rwf14, 000 along wholesale and retailing chains. A bar of soap goes for between Rwf13, 000 and Rwf3, 000 Avocado powder used as tea is sold at between Rwf3, 000 and Rwf1, 300. Diversification The entrepreneur said that besides avocado organic oil, he also produces coconut oil, Sesame oil, skin scream from honey, Detox tea and others. “In total, we produce about 12 tonnes of all different products per month in our enterprise. I invested the returns all through and most importantly, sought to acquire skills. This means that the value of my enterprise currently stands at an estimated $200, 000,” he said. “We want the factory at international level as it is currently operating in Rwanda and Guinea (Conakry). We want to increase its capacity production to between 600 tonnes per month in the next 5 years,” he added.