Delicious and nutritious yogurt for young families

 

Kombeza

Programme Coach
Hilde Schuddinck
Company partner
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Kombeza Foods is a young dairy company founded by a dynamic entrepreneur and young mother. The fact that nutritious and locally produced dairy products are hardly available in Malawi inspired her to develop a local, nutritious and tasty product.

The Kombeza drinking yoghurt was launched. After the first successful years the company now stands at a crossroad. Currently, the factory building is being expanded to substantially enlarge the production capacity. A challenging process which Exchange will be glad to support. Hilde Schuddinck is, as Manager Account and Young Entrepreneurship at VOKA East Flanders, the ideal coach to guide this programme in the future.

Challenges to feast on

Moving the production to a new building and simutanuously raising the production volumes is challenging. A thorough assessment of the production process and optimizing the process is an important step (constant supply of quality milk, process management and efficiency).

Moreover, product diversification (developing new products and recipes) and training of staff members are central elements of the growth programme. Kombeza is a typical local expression. It refers to something so delicious that there will never be any leftovers. A growth programme that promotes local products and herewith strengthens the local economic growth, that's something to feast on!

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Branding the African optimistic way of life

Quake advertising

Programme Coach
Clo Willaerts
Company partner
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Immediately noticeable in Rwanda is that the advertising landscape is very small. Multinationals that establish themselves in Rwanda have their own branding that is ubiquitous, but local brands are rarely in the picture in advertising.

Quake advertising is a marketing and advertising agency that wants to ensure that these African brands become locally relevant. Quake's ambition is to position itself as an African advertising agency for African brands and markets. Maurice, the young entrepreneur behind Quake tries every day, together with his young team of very driven young developers, project managers, social media and PR experts, to make this dream come true, but he faces a number of challenges.

Employee retention and attracting big customers

After a positive feasibility study in early 2019, Exchange and Quake advertising decided to start a growth programme. In April 2019, a coach was appointed who identified the following challenges at Quake:

First of all, it is difficult for an advertising agency to attract and retain talented young developers. Indeed, many young talented developers are experiencing strong growth after recruitment and take the leap to larger companies with better paid jobs.

A second challenge is convincing large customers in order to extract more income. Quake works for many small customers, which proportionally provide a lot more work, while generating little income. By bringing in a few large customers, they can also continue to provide work for the smaller, local brands.

Exchange is committed to responding to these two challenges. The Exchange coach provides permanent coaching through bi-monthly contact. Together with Quake, other necessary Exchange expertise is now being further mapped. Together with a lot of optimism we try to realize the ambition of Quake.

We already believe in this African dream from Maurice & co!

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Tech solutions for Social and Economic Impact

 

UX

Programme Coach
Philippe Van Oosterzee 
Expert Team
Philippe Janssens
Company partner
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UX is an award-winning Mozambican company developing locally ­relevant, market­-driven and self-sustainable tech-based products and services for high social and economic impact in emerging markets. They pioneered a novel bootstrap approach for start­-ups in markets with no access to impact investment and poor services. This by providing affordable tech consultancies for development agencies and businesses in exchange for ownership of the products created. By using the know­-how of development experts and tying it to their product and business design experience, they have ensured that development programs become self­sufficient after donor fund depletion. This has allowed UX to create their own disruptive solutions by aligning commercial success to social good.

UX, based in Maputo, currently provides IT solutions and support to 3 different sectors:

  • Employment: providing platforms for web and mobile recruitment.
  • Education: implementing technologies for training and education.
  • Financial Inclusion: creating mobile services for the unbanked

Connecting Tradepeople with Customers

One of the most innovative products of UX is ‘Biscate’, an online job board, which connects tradespeople working in Mozambique’s informal economy (which far outweighs the formal sector) to middle-class customers, who once had to look for signs on trees to find a plumber or electrician. The service is designed to work not only on smartphones but on many workers’ low-cost basic handsets. At the last count, 47,000 workers were connected to 25,000 customers.

Low data costs leading to popularity of mobile money

Another sector UX is looking at is ‘informal finances’. Mobile money platforms such as Vodacom’s M-Pesa, which came to Mozambique in 2013 after being introduced in Kenya six years previously, are growing in popularity. In Mozambique, mobile data costs are among the cheapest in Africa: one gigabyte cost as little as $2.71, compared with $7.67 in neighbouring South Africa, according to an index from Research ICT Africa (2nd quarter 2018).

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Fighting malnutrition with affordable food!

Sesaco Ltd.

Programme Coach
Robert Myncke
Expert Team
Eugene Nicolaes
Company partner
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Just like in many Sub-Saharan African countries, a large part of the Ugandan population suffers from malnutrition. According to Broederlijk Delen, around 25% of Ugandans are malnourished. Although the country is known for its fertile soil and is sometimes referred to as the food source of East Africa, the prices of the food produced often turn out to be too high for the poorest layers of the local population.

A company with a clear mission

The mission of Sesaco Ltd. responds perfectly to this need for affordable and nutritious food. The company, located in Kampala, specializes in producing soy products with a high nutritional value. The focus of the food company is specifically on the lowest layers of the population. That is precisely why the products of Sesaco Ltd. are sold at the lowest possible prices.

A large part of the products are supplied to international aid organizations that are committed to the many refugees in the country. Consequently, Sesaco is also contributing to the most basic need of this vulnerable group.

Factory with growth potential

More than 100 people are employed at the factory of Sesaco. Often women, often low- or unskilled. Deploying these people more efficiently in the production process could mean a substantial increase in production. This represents a major opportunity for both the company and society in a still unsaturated market. That is why Sesaco received access to the Yield Uganda Investment Fund of the European Union. A second investment from the fund, for the modernization and automation of a new plant, can be obtained after a positive evaluation of the growth results.

To achieve this, Exchange and Sesaco are entering into a partnership with the aim of achieving positive growth results. One of the possible routes that can be explored is the creation of a line with new premium products that will also appeal to the middle class of Uganda. Improving efficiency and setting up a well-thought marketing campaign are also promising possibilities. In addition to Exchange, KPMG will also guide the process. More than enough reasons to believe in a successful scale-up of this social company!

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World: get ready for a delicious cup of tea from Malawi!

Satemwa Tea Malawi

Programme Coach
Lara Donners
Company partners
STOP Spices! Image result for icon link
Comma, merkenmarketeers Image result for icon link

Satemwa Tea Estate is a Malawian SME that was founded in 1923. The company produces quality teas and has an undeniably sustainable character. Satemwa was the first Malawian tea company to be awarded a Fair Trade certificateAs well as this, the company has also achieved Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification. It has emerged as a pioneer in the area of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in Malawi. Satemwa has stimulated the employment of women and manages its own hospital and school for employees (and their children) and the population of the surrounding communities. Plus, every year, Satemwa supports 130 students in higher education through awarded study grants. Finally, it is also a corporate member of the UN Global Compact. Talk about a sustainable pioneer!  

Satemwa has developed a ‘direct trade partnership’ with the Msuwadzi Small Holder Tea Growers Association. For ten years, Satemwa has worked closely with the group of 198 independent tea farmers (92 of whom are women) in the production of Speciality Teas. This collaboration led to the association, under the guidance of Satemwa, being Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified. A so-called out grower manager from Satemwa trains the members of the association in innovative picking techniques, production techniques and capacity development. The collaboration has led to the establishment of the tea brand YAMBA tea that is sold in Malawi and neighbouring countries.  

Certification as a road to new opportunities

Approximately 90% of the tea produced by Satemwa is black tea. Every year, approximately 2,500 tonof tea is sold to major tea brands, such as Lipton, Pickwick and Twinings. By investing more in Specialty Teas and by further processing the tea into green, oolong, white and herbal teas, the small farmers can offer high-value products to richer markets in Europe and the United States. Satemwa wants to create maximum added product value in the country of origin.  

There is no specific certification needed for the sale of black tea to major brands. Large multinationals themselves perform quality testing in their own laboratories. The same applies to the sale of tea under an own brand name, such as with YAMBA tea.

 

With the Specialty TeasSatemwa is aiming more at the international market. And that is where international food safety standards do come into play. Not a single tea-producing company in Malawi has been able to achieve an international food safety certificate thus far. For Satemwa, this is an excellent opportunity that would put them on the tea-lover’s map.  

A certification is not only interesting for Satemwa employees, but also for the Msuwadzi Small Holders Association. It would allow them to process and pack Speciality Tea and their own YAMBA brand in a certified environment. That would open the doors to export to countries further afield.  

Belgian partners!

Two Flemish companies are convinced to assist Satemwa in its growth ambitions. Stop Spices, a company of herbs and spices from Dendermonde, shares its expertise on certification, digitalisation and packaging technology. Comma merkenmarketeers, a marketing agency from Zedelgem, coaches Satemwa in developing a specific marketing strategy for the European market.

 

The official certification is well within sight. The international market may quietly start looking forward to a delicious cup of Specialty Tea. Planted, picked and processed in Malawi, The Warm Heart of Africa!

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Bike out of extreme poverty

Mozambikes

Programme Coach
Marc Frederix
Expert Team
Gert-Jan Bakx
Company partner
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Half of the population of Mozambique is forced to live on less than two dollars a day. Furthermore, much of the population needs to walk hours a day to go to school or to reach sources of drinkable water or arable land. Almost 80% of the population are farmers who live off the products they sell locally. Their daily income and their professional productivity are simply dependent on what they can carry or how quickly they can move with their goods. A bike can therefore have an enormous impact on their daily lives. A huge benefit to education and trade, and as such, a very efficient escape from extreme poverty.  

Mozambikes is bike producer in Mozambique with an outspoken social ambition. Using bikes, Mozambikes wants to make basic needs more accessible and, in doing so, fight poverty. People who live below the poverty line can gain access to a bike of their own via Mozambikes. The system works with donations, sponsored bikes and micro-credits.  

Socially doers

Mozambikes is the only bike factory in Mozambique, a country with 28 million residents. Rui and Lauren, the founders of Mozambikes, are driven entrepreneurs in various sectors. Mozambikes is the product of a clear social ambition: making a tool available that will help the rural population realise their dreams and ambitions.  

With a team of 25 employees, Mozambikes produces one single type of bike: they are sturdy and specially designed for rural areasThe organisation is thus providing employment for young people who may become bicycle makers.  

 

Mozambikes has ambitionThe organisation wants to expand its role as a social company, increase production and establish a larger distribution network. The model may even be exported to neighbouring countries such as Malawi (where Exchange is also activeand partnerships with foreign partners are also possible. 

Exchange has a lot of faith in this social growth programme. It demonstrates how a simple idea can be a gigantic step up for people in poverty. Bike-crazy Flemish as we are, this is a growth programme that’s close to our hearts.  

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Kleine landbouwers omscholen tot agripreneurs dat is de missie van Gudie Leisure Farm (Oeganda).

Social entrepreneurship and sustainable farming companies: a booming business in Uganda!

Gudie Leisure Farm

Programme Coach
Katy Vancoillie
Expert Team
Johan Borghys 
Marieke De Vos 
Company partner
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From small farmer to clever entrepreneur

 

Gudie Leisure Farm (GLF) is a city farm located in the suburbs of Kampala. As a social business, GLF wants to train smallholder farmers to become true agricultural entrepreneurs: agripreneurs. GLF developed the ‘Agripreneur Champions System’. This gives farmers practical training at the city farm or their own farmsAs well as on areas such as poultry, pig farming, aqua culture and greenery, the highly practical training focuses on business-related subjects that guarantee the sustainable growth of the agro-companies.   

Since it was founded in 2009, the social business has trained at least 63,720 farmers. In addition, the company carried out an assignment in the context of livestock management for the Belgian development agency Enabel. Mastercard Foundation also firmly believes in the potential of Gudie Leisure Farm and therefore decided to offer the agricultural school long-term financial support!

A passionate entrepreneur behind the wheel

Standing at the head of the GLF is inspiring entrepreneur Gudula Naiga BasazaThe general manager of GLF received a doctorate from Ghent UniversityShe has always been led by her two greatest passions: educating people and contributing to the improvement of the social and economic circumstances in Uganda. In 2017, she was nominated by Vital Voices as one of the hundred most influential women on the African continent.

GLF as the agricultural training institution

The ultimate dream of GLF is to become an open university for agriculture in Uganda. To reach that goal, the organisation first wants to focus on the construction of a fully functional training centre. GLF is adamant that they are recognised for the superior quality of their training and education courses. As such, Exchange and GLF are working together to set out a growth programme that will allow their ambitious goals to be fulfilled. As GLF is driven by passion and social engagementExchange is also convinced that the growth programme will not just lead to positive economic consequences for GLF itself, but will indirectly deliver improved socio-economic conditions for the smaller farmers in Uganda. 

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Sustainable growth with an eye on the international market

Manumetal

Programme Coach
Dominiek Dolphen
Expert Team
Robert Myncke
Evelyne Eneman
Michel Bossaer
Clo Willaerts
Willy Peeters
Gert Van der Sypt
Jef Boiy
Chris Merckx
Company partner
Register your company as a candidate!

Manumetal is a furniture manufacturer in Kigali (Rwanda). Established more than fifty years ago, Manumetal started as a Belgian company, but is now privately owned by Rwandans. As the name intimates, the focus for Manumetal initially lay on metal furniture. Over the years, they delved into wooden furniture production. Recently, even aluminium furniture has found its place. 

Manumetal is ambitious and is surfing along on the wave of growth currently being enjoyed by the Rwandan market. The company wants to optimise its potential for innovation and the opportunities offered by diverse and high-quality local expertise. In doing so, Manumetal will respond to the needs of the growing Rwandan middle class.  

Ambition and challenge, hand in hand

Exchange and Manumetal have worked together in recent years. In 2018, we decided to transform this collaboration into a growth programme. First and foremost, the growth programme aimed to improve the efficiency of the production of metal and wooden furniture. New, modern designs, and the production of high-quality chairs are among the ambitions of the growth programme. Better quality and design will create infinitely more potential for the domestic and foreign markets.  

When we speak about the foreign market, we do not just look at Congo and Uganda as export countries. An introductory meeting was also held with a delegate from IKEA 

Ambitions of this sort bring necessary challenges with them. In the first place, there are the logistic challenges related to machines, infrastructure and distribution. In addition, there are challenges in terms of marketing and product quality.

A well-thought-out growth plan

In August 2018, the programme coach from Exchange worked together with the local manager Mr Bayigamba on the pillars for the Manumetal growth programme. The growth plan consists of three pillars that need to form the basis for the sustainable growth of the company:  

 MOVE, DIVERSIFY, GROW 

  • MOVEJust like many other companies in Kigali, Manumetal was required to relocate to the industry zone outside the city on short noticeExchange will provide an architect and technical expert to efficiently prepare and guide the move. With the right approach, the move could be turned into an opportunity for Manumetal. Could the mechanical installations be improved? Could the production spaces be more efficiently set up? How could the production process be organised to make it more in line with lean principles? The goal is to have the relocation completed by the end of 2020.  
  • DIVERSIFY: Manumetal wants to diversify ins markets, ins products (including design products) and its customer segments (including high-end customers). Meanwhile, the Exchange coach ensured that Manumetal could already enter into various partnerships. Through these partnerships, Manumetal can appeal to a larger market segment. An Exchange marketing expert guides Manumetal to put their new products on the market. Another Exchange expert ensured that the marketing manager of Manumetal could do an internship here in Flanders with various Flemish furniture manufacturers in order to gain new ideas. An expert carpenter will train the staff in perfect finishing of the products, so that they can also appeal to other customers and other markets. Finally, an investment expert and financial expert will look at how Manumetal can attract investors, save and make smart investments in view of the relocation.
  • GROW: Manumetal wants to grow and therefore focuses on export. Growth means more complex processes. That's why an IT expert will help the company to set up a well-integrated digitization of processes. An export expert will guide them in the export process of products. Manumetal is also a progressive company in the field of HR. The company not only scores well on gender equality, but focuses on the dual-learning system that aims to address the shortage of highly skilled technicians. How? By letting students do apprenticeships in companies. And this they do successfully! Manumetal plays a pioneering role and attracts a very high number of trainees in the workplace. The company is also subsidized for this by the Work Development Agency in Rwanda.

Innovative partnerships

Throughout the growth programme, Manumetal will always look for new partnerships. Since the start of the growth programme, we can proudly say that a large number of partnerships have already been started, all of which contribute to the growth of this Rwandan company. The social impact of Manumetal also increases thanks to these partners.

In order to continue the pioneering role in the field of training young people, an internship agreement was concluded with a technical Rwandan school. Students can not only gain practical experience within the company, but are also invited to work out and produce new products together. In this way Manumetal not only focuses on the sustainable growth of the company, but also on the professional growth of ambitious Rwandan youngsters!

Manumetal also started a partnership with Mass Design, an American-Rwandan architect collective that strongly focuses on architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. In addition to designing buildings, Mass Design is also very strong in interior design. Manumetal will take care of the production of this interior and will also offer a number of furniture in the Manumetal catalog. Moreover, the designers of Mass Design and Manumetal will work together on the development of the "affordable housing program" of the Rwandan government. With this program, the government wants to offer low-income and middle-income Rwandans affordable and decent housing in Kigali.

Remote Group is a construction company that, among other things, carries out the construction work of the affordable housing program in Rwanda. Manumetal has previously worked as a subcontractor for Remote Group. Remote Group and Manumetal are now strengthening their partnership whereby Manumetal will become a permanent subcontractor to Remote Group. As Remote Group manages many sites in Rwanda, the number of orders for Manumetal will also increase.

Sokoa is a French company that is one of the leading producers of office chairs in Europe. The company is based in the Basque area of France, an economically disadvantaged region. The mission of the company is to ensure economic development and job creation in this region. Sokoa has also been looking beyond Europe for several years. The company wants to enter the Rwandan market and Manumetal proved to be the ideal partner for this. Therefore, in the new factory hall of Manumetal, a workplace will be provided where Manumetal will assemble chairs for Sokoa and, in time, also produce chairs itself. We look forward to this promising partnership!

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Smart IT for a stronger health sector

ClinicMaster International

Programme Coach
Frank Louwers  
Expert Team
Jan Ghys
Jan Van Damme
Jo Leunis
Company partner
Register your company as a candidate!

Software to help people

The ICT company ClinicMaster International is to be found in Uganda’s lively capital cityThe SME was founded in 2013 and continues to grow today. ClinicMaster develops and sells a software programme that assists hospitals in the daily follow-up of their patientsIn the meantime, the software package is used in ninety different hospitals in Uganda, Kenyand South Sudan.  

The start-up mentality

Although the SME has now been active for five years, it still acts with a truly ambitious start-up mentality. The fifteen employees are involved in daily decisions and the long-term strategic choicesAccording to General Director and founder Wilson Kutega, this horizontal structure and co-creation are the secrets behind the success‘Our employees are more closely connected with our clients. They’re better placed to identify their needs than the management team ever could be,’ he claims. ‘The open communication and involvement of the personnel makes ClinicMaster what it is today: a great place to work, grow and develop your skills!’

Innovation that keeps you ahead of the competition

In a globalising world, this SME is also being confronted with increasing competition from national and international players. Players who are bringing more innovative products to the market and who can count on larger marketing budgets. It is up to ClinicMaster to maintain its market position in the sector and to invest in innovation and sustainable growth

Exchange and ClinicMaster signed a long-term partnership. In the meantime, also Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs has joined the partnership. The goal: to remain ahead of the competition and allow the SME to grow.

 

The SOME IQ action plan was born. It highlights six strategic goal (Sales, Organisation, Market & Marketing, Employees, Innovation and Quality). This ambitious action plan ensures ClinicMaster will grow its client portfolio through better quality and services. As a result of this, they will be able to create even more sustainable employment opportunities in the region. With the growth programme, Exchange and ClinicMaster are aiming to make ClinicMaster the leading IT company in the Ugandan health sector. 

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Bergrivier municipality in South-Africa runs a programme called "Garbage and waste as an opportunity".

Garbage and waste as an opportunity

Bergrivier Municipality (Piketberg)

 

 

Programme Coach
Katia T’joen
Expert Team
Els Compernolle
Myriam De Munter
Anne Vandeputte
Partners
Heist-op-den-Berg Image result for icon link
GreenCape Image result for icon link

In July 2018, representatives from Exchange travelled to Bergrivier in South AfricaThe purpose of this study trip? A partnership focused on strengthening the Turning Waste Into Prosperity programme run by the Bergrivier Municipality.  

The Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities, also known as the VVSG (Vereniging van Vlaamse Steden en Gemeenten), has an international twin cities agreement with BergrivierUnder this programme, Heist-op-den-Berg is the twin to BergrivierThe Flemish municipality also plays a role in this partnership.  

In preparation for the growth programme, an assessment was performed on the current situation in the Bergrivier Municipality. GreenCapea South African non-profit organisation with a focus on green economy, ran the assessment. Using recommendations from GreenCape and in consultation with Bergrivier Municipality and Heist-op-den-Berg (linked city)an action plan was drafted by the growth-programme coach. The first volunteer experts were immediately appointed. The growth programme will primarily focus on the collaboration with local recycling companiescomposting and raising awareness 

Awareness remains the key in the waste and garbage processing programmes for South Africa.  

Bergrivier has already abandoned the concept of public garbage dumps and tips. Concepts such as recycling and separation of waste types at the source have become second nature in the meantime. The recycling of construction waste and glass remain points for improvement. In order to come to sustainable, organised waste management in Bergrivier, innovation, work simplification and education by ‘Waste Ambassadors’ will become the most important spearheads for the partnership.   

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