By MUKAMWIZA Honoree, Bsc FST Managing Director Local Cheese Promotion Ltd CHAP 1. BACKGROUND OF THE COMPANY The background of the Local cheese Promotion Ltd is composed of the following: Business drivers Nature of the business Capital investment Target market Turnover I. Business drivers Cheese making in Rwanda is still at low and informal level Cheese processed in Rwanda get spoilt fast and this causes considerable losses to the processors. Lack of practical skills and knowledge for existing cheese processors. Small market for hard cheese on the Rwandan market. Employment opportunity to young people II. Nature of the business Local Cheese Promotion Ltd is an agro- processing company, It has the aim of processing Local Gouda Cheese into a higher healthy cheese. The nutritive values of our cheese are 28% fat, 14.5% proteins, 1.8% calcium and other minerals. It is well packed, ready to eat and with an extended shelf life. III. Capital investment Grant from Rwanda Innovation Endowment Fund (RIEF) of US $50,000 equivalent to 31M RWF It will be received in 3 installments and invested in three phases. Current investment in place is US$30,000 (18M RWF) as first installment. IV. Target market Our target market is the dairy products consumers specifically cheese consumers who like medium fat cheese (KRAFT cheese) Super markets, restaurants and bars Hotels, shops and bakeries in Rwanda v. Turnover The company’s current annual turnover is estimated to be US$10,000 by processing 120kg per month. This turnover is expected to increase as the company grows and gets more markets as we have the capacity to produce 440kg per month and this could give annual turnover of US$35,000 CHAP 2. IMPACT AND SOCIAL BENEFITS A solution for dairy products consumers as our cheese is a fully natural, safe, nutritive and healthy product (28% fat, 14.5% proteins, 1.8% calcium and other minerals) extended shelf-life of 4 months Packaged in an environmental friendly plastic material which facilitates transport and storage Cont’ It is sold at an affordable price of US$0.8/100gr compared to the imported cheese which is sold at US$1.9/100gr The company contributes to the capacity building of uncompetitive youth and fresh graduates lacking experience through provision of internship We provide regular market to local cheese producers. Cont’ The company has offered job to 7 young people. It is a model of small scale enterprises achieved by a young entrepreneur We cooperate with the Ministry of Education in sensitizing the youth to join agri-business through different Radio and TV presentations CHAP 3.CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME 1. Lack of financial means Like other young entrepreneurs, Local cheese promotion also faced the same challenge at the beginning which resulted in its closure for a couple of years (May 2012 to August 2013). To over come this we participated in competition by Rwanda Innovation Endowment Fund(RIEF) and we won a grant of US$50,000 CONT’ 2. High cost and shortage of Electricity and water As solution to this, the company has installed a water tank and is planning to install power generators. 3. Lack of reliable market due Rwandan cultural food habits The company has started a campaign to promote public awareness about the health benefits of processed cheese and this will eventually attract more consumers and hence increased market CONT’ 4. Lack of strong property rights policy This facilitates someone to copy your innovation To reduce on this, the company will open a research and development department which will continuously introduce new products to always compete and sustain the market. 4. HOW TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN YOUTH IN AGROPROCESSING BUSINESS With the partnership of all the stakeholders i.e. Government, youth, financial institutions and NGO’s the following can attract more: Providing entrepreneurship training to the youth They should be taught to do well presentable business plans to attract banks and all other funding institutions They should be guided and supervised on how to start small scale business with low financial means CONT’ Different presentations and shows on Radios and Televisions on agriculture should be reinforced More Seminars, agri-business forums and business development centers should be organized and set up respectively. More Doing business reforms should be made to create a conducive environment for investors. CONT’ More funds should be allocated in agri-business The government of Rwanda should sensitize the youth about the opportunities in agri-business Both universities and institutions should change student’s mindset. END THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION.