Speciose Byukusenge runs a bakery in Kigali’s most business oriented neighborhood. She first began working in this business at a restaurant near her Anglican Church, where Speciose sold food products including baked goods. Her customers loved her home made pastries and encouraged her to open a bakery where she could focus on making more pastries and diversifying her range so as to meet her customers’ needs.
Speciose began looking for ways of making this dream a reality and entered into a business competition being held by SPARK’s local partner in Kigali, RTUC. Her plan won the competition and she received business training before being introduced to the Ignite Fund, an offshoot of SPARK which supports ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs by investing in their businesses. Ignite Fund assessed Speciose’s business plans for Le Grenier. Ignite Fund’s assessment found the business to have high potential for return, and also saw that Speciose was a dedicated and trustworthy individual. So all parties agreed to work together and Ignite Fund partnered with Speciose to help her open her bakery Le Grenier. Speciose invested the funds from Ignite into new machinery and also to provide working capital, enabling the bakery to increase its production and expand.
The bakery produces many different types of bread, as well as different cakes, doughnuts and pastry based products, which are her specialty. Most of her customers are young people and youth; school ages children looking for snacks and working class people who come to her bakery to get a filling breakfast before starting work. Speciose has secured some long term contracts too with local schools which she supplies with baked goods like bread for the students. Speciose tries to keep her staple products affordable, because she caters mainly for low and middle income people.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL AMBITION?
My ambition is to keep growing my business. I’d like to be able to open a minimum of 6 outlets or selling points within the next three years.
WHAT IMPACT DO YOU SEE YOUR BUSINESS MAKING?
I see the future of my business to be a great success. Through my business I will be able to take care of my family and also open a big and high quality bakery in the up-market area of Kigali. I hope as my business grows that I can create more jobs for Rwandese youth, as this demographic currently suffer the most from high unemployment rates.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Since opening my bakery my clients can easily access quality pastry products in their neighborhood without having to buy at expensive price in supermarkets. I try to keep prices low so that my products are economically accessible for local people. Furthermore the bakery has provided 12 permanent jobs for employees who get a monthly salary which helps them take care of their families.