While growing up, Innocent Ntaganzwa, Mucyo Steven and Pascal Ntaganda, often did things together.
The three brothers used the same approach when they decided to start a recreational business in Rwanda. They have defied the odds and stereotypes, taking the first step in recreational Business in Rwanda by storm.
Innocent Ntaganzwa spoke to Business Times’Pontian Kabeera what inspired them to start this business in Rwanda.
Give us a brief description of your business?
Bubble soccer is a recreation sport that involves playing football while encased in an inflatable bubble which covers the player’s upper body and head.
Bubble soccer follows the same objectives and general rules as regular soccer where by teams compete to hit a ball into the opposing team’s goal.
This game is typically played in large indoor spaces or outdoor fields. Bubble soccer follows the same objectives and overall rules as regular soccer where by teams compete to hit a ball into the opposing team’s goal with the added condition that each player must wear an inflatable bubble around their torso.
The game is growing over the world, in May 2018, the first ever bubble soccer World Cup took place in Shoreditch, London, with the finals taking place at Wembley. However, it has not been classified as a sport in most countries, rather still regarded as just a recreation activity. In other words, it is mostly regarded as a game rather than a sport, although it is increasingly looked at as an integrated activity with the elements of both a mere game and a sport. Bubble soccer does not discriminate; it takes people of all ages regardless of your fitness level or talent.
Bubble soccer is often played at corporate team building exercises, or parties. The game is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than five players. It normally follows the rules of ordinary soccer. However, the game course of play can be adjusted to suit the specific needs of the players during the Bubble Soccer game, the bubble suits are provided by our firm.
Each bubble soccer match lasts for duration of 12 minutes. This is split into two halves with a half time break which is about five minutes’ long. The playing time is halted by the referee if a longer interception is expected.
How did you get into the
The brotherly love and our decisive discourses on how better we can challenge the current social phenomenon on the challenge of youth unemployment facilitated the beginning of this initiative.
Our parents nurtured us in a manner that unemployment is a challenge to transformation and availed us with all the gadgets ranging from books to skills that can enable us to remain relevant in dealing with the challenge.
Bubble soccer is often played at corporate team building exercises, parties. The game is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than five players.
Though we are brothers, we ventured into recreation business individually because we all had different views about this fundamental venture as well as varying approaches towards it.
So, by the time we decided to form a company, we had gained wide knowledge and insight about this recreational business and how significant it can be to Rwandan.
Did you face any challenges starting out?
Typically, like any start-up, the biggest challenge is to have that first client who will trust your brand. Securing enough investment capital was also a challenge since we hadn’t saved up enough money by the time we started our company and given the fact that some of us are still in school.
Though we still face challenges here and there, we try our level best to solve them. The Kigali-based company presently operates at Sanitas Leisure Park in Kanombe.
Would you advise a person with little savings to venture into business?
It is always hard introducing the new product on the market, it takes serious efforts to convince the consumer about a seemingly new product that is actually new to the entire country. We, however, appreciate the fact that after a few weeks, people started visiting us at the workplace, they were sensitized about the game and it’s significant to their general physical fitness.
Some people, especially the youth, think that starting a business requires a lot of money; what makes a business grow or fail is ones dedication and determination to make it work. Of course, you will need some little money to kick-start the enterprise.
For us, we were lucky because we started with Rwf1.5 million which we had saved over time.
Some people, especially the youth, claim that saving money for a future venture is hard and instead squander even the little they have on luxuries. For us we vowed from an early age that, come rain or sunshine, we would be ‘our own bosses’ in the future.
How do you see recreational activities in Rwanda?
It’s a new venture in town but the public is slowly getting used to recreational games. We hope this trend continues and Rwanda will become the hub of recreational business in Africa.