This is Habineza Emmanuel’s story. Emmanuel is a professional shoemaker in Musambira sector, Kamonyi district. He received GROW trainings through COCOF, one of Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze Implementing Partners. He has been in this business since 2017 and now his progress is noticeable.
Emmanuel, as many youth who received any HDAK trainings, he appreciate all skills he learned HDAK project that are now helping him to boost his business. “The most important lesson I have learned is to keep record of all my business profits and to separate my personal bank account from my company’s. So far this lesson has helped to avoid many mistakes like spending money without any concrete plan” said Emmanuel.
Besides making shoes from scratch, Emmanuel also has started taking in apprentices, young people who wish to learn the job are welcome in his company. “When I started this business, I was working alone, but when I noticed that the demand was high, I taught my wife and also two other young people in my neighborhood who were interested” he added.
Currently, the company counts 5 permanent employees and apprentices who come and leave as soon as they have finished their learning program. “Parents from this area trust me with their children to teach them, I charge them a small fee of 10,000 Rwf during 3 months. When they finish some of them join other companies or decide to keep working with me either way I am happy because I feel like I have contributed to their knowledge as I could” said Emmanuel.
When you get into the shoe making workshop, you can see how everyone is busy as they work hard to finish orders people have placed. Emmanuel’s company is now able to produce more than 100 pairs per day depending on the manpower and demand available.
Emmanuel has bigger plans for his company. He wishes to expand the company which means the products and income will also increase. “My plan as I was taught to set big and small goals, is to expand my show making company and have a separate school that trains young people can come and learn about the shoe making job” said Emmanuel.
“I know it will require me hard work to achieve my goals. I will work with financial institutions and add on my savings to make it work. My advice to young people is find any job as a way that can help you move from one level to another and also to have discipline in whatever they do. No one will give them a chance if they do not have discipline” Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel at his shoemaking company