Date & Timestamp : SEPT 2015
Herve’s Story of Hope
23 September 2015
As a recent university graduate, Herve landed a good job as accountant with a major Rwandan insurance company. He thought that since he was shy, he was no good at business. He said, “I will be an accountant. That’s the only job I can do; but I didn’t know that I had some courage in me.”
Herve decided to take a risk and enrolled in the Rwanda Business Development Center (BDC) in 2011. “Before entering the BDC, I was hopeless in my heart and in my mind.” Herve said he realized he was destined to not only provide for himself, but help others.
The BDC was a turning point for Herve in discovering how to do that. The BDC opened his eyes and “created something in [him], a hope that said, ‘You can do more than that!’” He learned to do business with God’s values and to have entrepreneur eyes. Herve said, “Everywhere I went, my entrepreneur eyes were watching and I would say, ‘I can do this.’”
Five months later, he started his business – Paniel Meat Processing. Winning a loan at a business competition, Herve purchased a grinder and a manual sausage maker, two refrigerators, and hired two employees. He began selling about 150 kg per week to several local supermarkets.
Now, PMP measures their sales in tons! They serve 226 supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels with high quality sausages, hot dogs, meatballs, and fresh meat. They are growing 20% month over month and are one of the largest meat processors in Rwanda.
Herve would be the first to tell you, however, that he alone is not responsible for his success. He feels blessed to have been surrounded by godly mentors and investors because of his involvement with the BDC.
BDC Rwanda identified Herve as a high potential graduate who could benefit greatly from mentoring and coaching. Visiting Executive and RCE Ambassador Darrell Frick leapt at the opportunity to mentor Herve. Drawing on his experience as a Chick fil-A owner/operator, Darrell helped Herve prepare his business to attract the investment needed for growth.
In God’s perfect timing, and thanks to Darrell, Herve was ready for investment when, in March 2015, BDC Rwanda partnered with Wealth Generators International, Inc. (WGI) to identify, interview, and eventually invest in local entrepreneurs in Rwanda. Jeff Mossman, CEO of WGI, saw 60 pitches from successful entrepreneurs during his two weeks in Rwanda, and ultimately invested in just two companies, both BDC graduates, one of which was Herve’s.
Herve had no idea just how far God could bring him. “I lost my dad when I was nine,” Herve said. “From then until age 22, I said, ‘I will not be a real man. Nothing will become of me. I will just be a loser.’” Through the BDC and the relationships that developed out of that experience, Herve said he was surrounded with individuals that could show him “the real way to be a real man.” This gave him hope and empowered him with the knowledge and skills to be successful.
Since WGI’s investment in PMP, Jeff has mentored Herve closely, coaching him on business as well as maximizing community impact. Herve has every desire to use his business for the greater good. “I do my business as a calling, not just as a hobby or job,” Herve said. “What I do in my business, I do to impact people so that people can see the love of God through my business. I do it to show people that there is something that can help them to be free from poverty, to be free and know the love of God.”
For more information about BDC Rwanda, the Regent Center for Entrepreneurship, or about becoming a distance mentor for an entrepreneur, please visit www.regententrepreneur.org.