Africa Startup to start assisting young entrepreneurs in Burundi

The NGO will support young entrepreneurs by partnering with existing NGOs or by helping directly youth with clear business projects.

Some participants in the workshop

Some participants in the workshop

The NGO Africa Startup plans to start a project of Education, Trade and Professional Training for young entrepreneurs in Burundi. It has organised, this Thursday 29 December, a workshop to inform potential participants to its training programmes about how the project will be carried out.

Moussa Masumbuko, Programme Coordinator in East and Central Africa, said the NGO will collaborate with existing NGOs and youth who already have projects. “We will support those who are already working. They have practical experience. We will try to identify gaps in existing projects and help fill in them”, he said.

From sowing to selling

Ultimately, through a learning-by-doing approach, Startup Africa will help young entrepreneurs acquire competencies necessary for the production and the sale of their own products. “We have seen that most of learners are taught theories alone. Our approach will be different. They will learn by practising”, said the Coordinator of the programme.

In that regard, starting from January 2017, Startup Africa will begin a training programme in Agribusiness. The training will take place in Ruziba area, south of Bujumbura. Recipients will attend short sessions in the classroom and spend much of their time in the NGO’s farm where they will learn farming. They will also learn marketing techniques for their projects.

Masumbuko said trainees will leave the training centre to go and do their own business partly with some money earned from the sale of the farm products. Trainees themselves will sell them as part of learning the marketing of their products. They will be rewarded according to their sale, “the more they sell the more they will receive”, said Masumbuko.

From training to… training

The workshop was organised in partnership with the nonprofit association Burundi Business Incubator (BBIN) that develops entrepreneurship and general business skills in both established and new Burundian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and KCB bank.

Some participants complained that they often receive training, some by BBIN and KCB, about starting their own business including how to get funds but they never find money to start up. “They keep on training us but do not give us credit to start our business”, said one participant. “At the beginning I thought I would give jobs to others, but I am considering to leave this whole entrepreneurship thing and go to fetch for a job”, he added.

Pierre Claver Nduwumwami, the manager of BBIN, said that the lack of credit is due to the “lack of credibility of seekers vis-à-vis financial institutions” that have no guarantee the money will be paid back. “They have to be serious and honest”, he said.

The Coordinator of the Startup Programme in East and Central Africa said the NGO will help young entrepreneurs to find funds for their projects. “We will be the voice of the youth to help them get credits at reasonable lending rates”, he said.

Africa Startup is a Norwegian NGO specialised in startup and self-employment in agribusiness, ICTs and renewable energy. Coordinator Masumbuko said all the NGO’s training modules are free and open to everyone.