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The sustainable entrepreneur: What is there to know about V&Co?

Like Vanessa Usanase, many young people in this generation turn to starting businesses, for a variety of reasons. Unusually, Usanase considered making a different impact in addition to starting a business and promoting sustainable development.

Vanessa Usanase , is a young female entrepreneur. She is the founder of V&CO Rwanda, a gift hamper-making business established in 2021. Usanase came up with the concept of expanding a simple idea into a company.

During a conversation we had with her, Usanase stated that she thought of starting her business from having “the idea or culture of not showing up to people’s places [homes] empty handed.”

Depending on the occasion, V&CO creates a variety of hampers, including kitchen hampers, warm wishes hampers, newly mom hampers, and many others.

Her uniqueness is not just in the concept, but also the fact that everything she uses and all of her products are eco-friendly, as well as the fact that V&CO empowers women and only hires women, make her company quite intriguing.

“Keeping it eco-friendly” means not throwing away anything you receive because we want to preserve the environment, she explained.

“We are trying to take part in environmental sustainability. We want to pollute less, that is where my mind focuses.” she continued

She explained why she made her products eco-friendly, stating that she had been inspired to do so ever since she was a child.

She said, “I grew up understanding the environment and the impact of our actions.”

“I have always been in awe of what is in the world, and I just want to preserve the world if there is a way to do that,” She stated.

In fact, there is a pressing need to protect the environment because, according to a recent report by the World Bank, if plastic production and consumption go forward as usual, global plastic production will double in the next 20 years and triple by 2050.

The Rwandan government has made sustained efforts to implement laws that will reduce waste and pollution, but it is also the responsibility of producers, traders, and customers to do their part.

The founder of V&CO acknowledged that business plays a part in ensuring that the environment is protected, Usanase insisted that adopting such a lifestyle is something that everyone should do.

“I think it’s really a lifestyle where you understand that every little thing you do can make a difference in the world, it’s a mentality that we have to bring in and adopt and all work together to do something that will preserve our surroundings,” she said.

Usanase emphasized the significance of individuals realizing their capacity to influence and improve the lives of others.

“I think you will love it more and start seeing the impact of the small acts that you do,” she continued, “if you can tell yourself that you are the reason why someone is breathing well or why you can eat well.” She stated

According to this passionate entrepreneur, it’s critical that entrepreneurs and new businesses collaborate with an eco-friendly mindset.

“I believe that once you start adapting that you do not realize how much it becomes a lifestyle and how much you enjoy doing it,” she said, “because you are not only doing it for yourself but also for other people.”

“I believe that our world would be better if we were more environmentally friendly. Selling items that can be recycled or used again should become our collective culture.” she added

However, she acknowledged that it is not simple to keep her company environmentally friendly and that every business faces challenges on a daily basis.

She has difficulty maintaining customer consistency and obtaining the necessary tools on time since some of her materials must be imported from abroad.

“The journey is by no means simple. Although it hasn’t been easy to adjust to, I am making sure that I, my staff, and my customers all understand and grasp the concept.” She stated

Indeed, it is not solely the responsibility of producers and retailers. Usanase placed a strong emphasis on consumer behavior, asserting that since consumers are the ones who buy and use products, it makes sense to spend money on environmentally friendly products.

I believe that using or purchasing items that one can reuse would be great, she said.

“Like that hamper, it contains a number of gifts and can be used for whatever purpose you choose later. Spending money on something you can use in so many different ways is all you’re doing.

Usanase stated that she intended to embrace other eco-friendly initiatives and exercise creativity in a variety of other ways. She suggested that young people consider the kind of impression they want to make on the world.

“Consider your business, meditate on it, and on what you can do to make it better than what is already available or that has already been created by someone else.

Vanessa Usanase with one of the women she works with
Gift hampers
Usanase believes people should adopt a culture of not showing up to people’s homes empty handed
Gift hampers, ecofriendliness
V&co does a variety of hampers





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