22-year-old Nyinawumuntu on using technology to promote healthy eating

Nyinawumuntu, the founder of GoCook, an online platform that connects people to chefs who can cook for them anytime, anywhere, during the interview at The New Times offices. / Photos by Craish Bahizi

With today’s busy world, many are engaged with intense work schedules, demanding households, among other responsibilities, and this leaves little to no time for healthy eating.

Yvonne Nyinawumuntu saw this need and thought of ways she could facilitate people access home-cooked meals regardless of their hectic schedules.

This is why last year, she established GoCook — an online platform that is set to revolutionise the food delivery market.

Her platform connects people to chefs or professional cooks who can cook for them anytime, anywhere. This is especially for those who have gatherings and events either at home or anywhere else.

What sets them apart is their ability to help people with dietary needs, such as diabetic patients, among others, to get healthy food that matches their needs.

Nyinawumuntu says she came up with this idea because people love home-cooked meals. This is why instead of providing ready meals, they avail chefs who customise meals according to the client’s need.

“Our main activity is to provide chefs to come and cook for you at your place anytime but we also do catering services for different events, such as weddings, conferences, home parties, cocktail parties and so many others,” she says.

“Charging depends on the client’s menu and how big the event is. If the client has all the ingredients, we only send the chef but if they don’t, we handle the shopping and cooking and then the client pays for the services,” she adds.

Apart from solving the issue of accessing healthy meals, Nyinawumuntu says she started this platform to solve the unemployment issue among people who pursued culinary arts.

“There is the issue of chefs who are done with school but have no jobs, so we thought of solving both issues by being the intermediary.”

So far the platform employs six permanent chefs and a number of others who work on a part-time basis.

“We plan to have more chefs on the platform who can serve around Kigali and we are also planning to expand to other areas in the country, and if we grow, we could even serve other countries.”

The future of entrepreneurship is digital

Technology is the new age for business, Nyinawumuntu says.

She says, technology is the future of entrepreneurship because it has proved to solve things we never imagined it could. And we are living in a busy world where people need to save time more than ever, and that’s mostly what technology is doing.

“Entrepreneurs nowadays focus on initiatives that solve people’s problems with convenience and speed, so by this, I think technology is the future for the business world.”

Her entrepreneurial journey

Nyinawumuntu says she always wanted to be an entrepreneur and so she surrounded herself with things that would push her in this direction.

Though she admits to being inspired mostly by her parents (who are in the business sector), the 22-year-old says her traits have also played a big role.

“I learn very fast and I have always stepped out of my comfort zone. When I was starting this platform, many people asked me if I knew what I was doing but I told them that I want to try it and if it works out, well and good, and if it doesn’t, then I would have tried.

Success comes from hard work and I believe that if something is of substance, then it’s worth fighting for.,” she narrates.

Regardless of her determination, Nyinawumuntu discloses that the start wasn’t that easy and that it is her determination that has kept her going.

“My biggest struggle as an entrepreneur is when I’m trying to convince people to believe in what I believe in, especially when I need something from them. It was really scary in the start but the lessons I sought from different people helped a lot. I also watch entrepreneurial related shows and read books; this has equipped me with knowledge,” she says.

Nonetheless, the young entrepreneur envisions something big and a bright future for her initiative.

“This is because during our pilot phase, we observed that people really need this service, but the challenge we are facing now is that we don’t have sufficient funds to brand our services. What motivates us is that we are improving people’s health,” she notes.

dmbabazi@newtimesrwanda.com

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