Women in Business finalists from Uganda and Rwanda visiting Holland

Women in Business finalists from Uganda and Rwanda visiting Holland

From 13 until 15 January the two finalists of this year’s Women in Business challenge will be coming to the Netherlands. During these three days the finalists will meet with investors and they will represent their businesses at ‘Bridge the Gap II  Women, Money and Markets’, an event organized by Vive Invest.

The finalists that will be visiting are the following:

Yellow Star Food Products Ltd (Uganda)

Yellow Star was founded in 1997 and registered in 2014, and produces nutritive cassava flour, soy bean flour for children and adults, soy paste and ground nuts. Other products include a mixture of soy, millet flour and soy with maize or rice. The company sources all its inputs from contracted women and farmer groups from the North of Uganda. Women are supported and trained in various ways and cooperatives are founded and made bankable. Yellow Star has sales contracts with the 4 main supermarkets (Shoprite, Nakumat, Quality and Capital) in Uganda and also sells to schools, orphanages, church organisations and individuals. The business currently rents most of the processing facilities and wants to establish its own processing plant as well as a larger facility for storage and packaging. The development of the facility has already started and additional finance of USD 487,037 is needed to complete the building, set up a modern processing plant and to cover initial working capital.

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) (Rwanda)

SHE is a social for-profit entity in Rwanda that produces affordable menstrual pads while at the same time providing health education and advocacy for girls and women. Currently 18% of the women and girls in Rwanda miss out on over 50 days of school or work due to a lack of menstrual pads. SHE uses a US patented production process to transform fibres from banana trees into the “fluff” needed for menstrual pads. SHE leases a machine to farmer groups who extract the fibers from the banana leaves and then bring it to the factory where the pads are produced. From sourcing banana fibers, to factory employment and distribution of the pads mainly women are involved. The price of a pack of 10 pads is Rwf 500, Rwf 100 cheaper that the cheapest benchmark and half the price of imported pads. They already have two commitments that will purchase their products in bulk; one of which is the UNHCR asking more than 6,000 packs per month. To accomplish this, they need to increase production which currently stands at 3,000 pads per month. To meet the demand, an investment is necessary to purchase more machines to create an extra 150 pads per day per machine.

Both entrepreneurs will visit Amsterdam on January 13 – 15 to meet potential partners and investors. If you are interested in the program, and the possibility to meet (one of the) entrepreneurs, you can send an email to Ellemieke Berings of BiD Network (ellemieke.berings@bidnetwork.org). She has also more information regarding the two promising companies.