Paulette Magnifique is a businesswoman working in the Kayonza District in Rwanda. A married mother of three, Paulette has long looked to entrepreneurship to earn additional income to support her family. In 2011, she ventured into the meat-selling business, renting space for a butchery where she sold raw beef from the cows she raised.
In January 2016, Paulette submitted a proposal for grant funding to GAIN to scale up her business through the Marketplace for Nutritious Foods programme. The programme supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing profitable business models and sustainably bringing nutritious and safe foods to market.
Paulette had a vision to expand from selling raw beef to selling beef and pork sausages. Both beef and pork are popular in the Kayonza District, and Paulette already had a ready market for her products. "The community here is very knowledgeable of how to look after both cows and pigs," she said. "I knew that I would not have a shortage of beef and pork if I decided to specialise."
Paulette’s proposal was accepted, and she was invited to participate in a one-month training on business and product development. After completing the programme a few months later, she received a grant of USD 68,010 with which she purchased meat processing equipment. In addition to selling her sausages to individuals who come to her butchery, she also supplies to hotels, supermarkets and has even expanded her business to the neighbouring Rwamagana District.
I have progressed so much since I got support from GAIN, from the training to receiving the grant. I am pleased that all my employees are now paid on time and have community health-based insurance.
Through her company, DreamCR77 Ltd, Paulette is transforming popular beef and pork into affordable sources of protein, thus bringing nutritious pork and beef sausages to the local community. DreamCR77 employs six permanent staff, including an accountant, a veterinarian and a meat processing officer. Paulette also employs three casual labourers daily, although the number could easily double during the dry season when they must go to search for water for her cows.
Thanks to her hard work and the support from the Marketplace for Nutritious Foods programme, Paulette feels optimistic about the future of her business. "I have progressed so much since I got support from GAIN, from the training to receiving the grant. I am pleased that all my employees are now paid on time and have community health-based insurance. My profit has increased from only RWF 5,000 daily to between RWF 10,000 and RWF 15,000 daily. I can comfortably pay school fees for my children and I have even acquired four hectares of land." With a 30 by 40 plot already purchased, Paulette will soon be moving out of the rented premises to her own establishment. "I want to see my business growing even more. I would like to expand to process meatballs, ham, and bacon in the future," she happily explained. "My quality of life has improved!"