Jean Bosco’s story
Jean Bosco is one of AEC’s most impactful entrepreneurs. His rice processing company, HPS&B, produces 10,000 tons of processed rice per year that he sells to schools, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, and regular individual buyers. He has created more than 30 jobs for people in his community and works with over 10,000 smallholder farmers in rice cooperatives across the nation.
One question that AEC gets often is how does Jean Bosco truly impact smallholder farmers. How different is HPS&B from other rice processing companies?
First, HPS&B has hired agronomists to work out of each rice cooperative to help the farmers improve their techniques. Second, HPS&B provides fertilizers and tools for the farmers. As a result, farmers increased their yield from 3 to 5.5 tons per hectare, increasing their income significantly. Jean Bosco specifically mentioned that they are now able to pay social security fees, and he also highlighted that most of the farmers are now taking their children to school as they can afford school fees.
AEC started working with Jean Bosco in September 2013, and has seen his company grow from producing at 40% capacity to 80% capacity last season. Jean Bosco is requesting another loan to purchase more raw paddy rice from farmers for the upcoming season. AEC is happy to support Jean Bosco again as he continues to demonstrate significant social impact as he grows the capacity of his business.
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About African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC):
African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) is a business accelerator program that aims to help African youth-led enterprises grow and create new jobs for poor in their communities. This unique, comprehensive program is committed to address the problem of unemployment in Rwanda and to capitalize on the opportunity for sustainable SME growth and fill a demonstrated need in East Africa.
Each year, AEC recruits and selects 100 entrepreneurs to participate in a two-year business accelerator. Once identified through competitive applications, entrepreneurs participate in the Business Training to enhance their business skills. Kiva lenders’ funds are used to impact more entrepreneurs in the country and create more job opportunities.
AEC joined Kiva through our Experimental Partnership Program, and has therefore received a lighter level of due diligence. Accordingly, loans associated with this partner carry a higher level of risk than typical Kiva loans.