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She turned 150 thousand Frw of savings into 15 million Frw in sales

Izere Laure Belle Ange started her business with just her passion, aspirations, and only 150 thousand Frw in her pocket but after just three years she has turned her savings into 15 million Frw in sales.

When Izere realized that her hair was breaking every time she combed it, she decided not to endure the problem silently; instead, she chose to confront and address the issue that was causing her distress by finding a lasting solution to care for it.

Izere grew up as an artist, drawing and selling her artwork. As she sold them, she saved money for future use.

In high school, she studied Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. This 21-year-old girl is now in her third year of university, studying Business and Entrepreneurship at Kepler.

Izere says that every time she combed her hair, it would break, and the oils she used had no significant effect. She decided to use her savings to create her own products that would help her and others with similar hair problems.

She said, “After realizing that my savings were sufficient, I said I wanted to start a business I was happy about it because I had identified a problem. I noticed that people with natural hair, including myself, couldn’t find suitable products for our hair. I thought, let me invest in this, who knows, if I fail, I can always go back to drawing to earn more.”

Izere then opened a business named ‘ILBA Hair Products’, producing oils and soaps, including shampoos that help people take care of their hair easily and promote healthy growth.

She uses ingredients like avocado, green tea, rosella, and others in her products.

Her journey was not easy. She started with only 130,000 Rwandan Francs, bought some necessary equipment, and began working. Gradually, her project grew, and now it is worth 15 million Rwandan Francs.

To achieve this, she had to invest a lot of effort into good marketing like social media marketing which was less expensive than traditional marketing. She has also invested some of the profit into building a website that makes it easy for her customers to take a look at her products through her website.

She not only showcased her products on social media but she invited her followers to use them and send a video. She also engaged with her audience by providing guides on how to use the products. She also shared blogs on her website about hair care.

Her leverage on the market was that she was bringing an innovation into an industry that is not yet popular in Rwanda. There are still few businesses that venture into skincare and haircare which allowed her to create commotion.

Some of the challenges she faced included finding reliable and skilled workers. She could not produce all the products by herself.

Izere says she now has four permanent employees, herself being the fifth, and also works with four regular farmers who supply her with produce. When they plan to exhibit their products, she hires up to 15 workers.

In the BK Urumuri Initiative competition this year, Izere won a loan of 5 million Rwandan Francs to expand her business.

She says this loan will help her expand her business internationally, including to countries like Canada, Uganda, Poland, and others where she has a market but has not yet fully tapped into.

Her products are available in various stores or can be purchased through the company’s website.

Many people talk about having ideas for businesses, but the obstacle is often financing. You hear someone constantly talking about business ideas, but when you ask what they have done, they have nothing to show for it due to lack of funds.

Izere, however, says that the primary obstacle is not money, but a person’s own ideas. She believes that as long as you have the will, you can start with little and gradually grow.

Izere started her company in 2021
She encourages her audience to take care of their hair
Natural hair can be quite difficult to manage but it becomes easier with the right products
She offers a wide rande of products for natural hair

Straight out of Twitter