Our youth are actively encouraged to develop their passions and ideas into viable business opportunities. Here one of our youth, Benedict, has developed her own business of producing and selling “Surprises Tropicales” in her community, made from local products – and they taste delicious!
Interview with our entrepreneurs!
Interview with Benedict Kuvuna:
1. How did you become involved with the Kuvuna Foundation?
Because it is big about leadership and I want to become a leader by influencing people to change their communities. The first program that I attended was a youth camp where we had the wife of the ambassador of the USA speak to us about leadership.
2. What unique aspects of the Kuvuna approach to development attracted you to the organization?
The Kuvuna Foundation is different because it allows us to discover ourselves. After discovering who we are, they help us to develop our potential to put our ideas into action.
3. Tell us a bit about yourself and factors that have contributed to your personal development.
I am in my last year of social communication at the Catholic University of Congo. I am twenty-one years old. I am the second child in my family. I am a shaper in the Global Shapers Community which is a branch of the renowned World Economic Forum. Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Nigeria for one week to participate in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum and Shape Africa. I also founded “Surprise Tropicale” two years ago which started out as a catering service. My vision is to educate customers about the great diversity of tropical food and the healthy benefits of eating organic food.
4. What inspired your entrepreneurial venture/idea?
The food poverty in my country inspired my project. In DRC and tropical countries we have many sources of fresh food. However, you go to the supermarket and everything is imported from another country. They take the fruit and vegetables here and transform it into a product and then import it back to our country for more expensive prices. When you import products, you export jobs.
5. Ideally, how do you envision your business idea in five years?
I plan to give value to tropical fruit by having an industry of transforming tropical fruit and exporting it to other countries. This year I have been able to hire one employee and I hope to continue to grow and employ more people in my community.