Say ‘Cheers’, to social fruit juices!

Delight (U) Ltd.

Programme Coach
Jos Craemers
Company partner
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Profit and social engagement go hand in hand 

Delight (U) Ltd. is a private business that has been producing and selling fruit juices on the Ugandan market since 1996. Under the name ‘Cheers’, you’ll undoubtedly find their fresh juices in all local supermarkets. One to remember!  

The administrative centre of the company is in Kampala, but the actual corporate activity takes place in the Nwoya district in North Uganda.  

The presence of Delight in the region has a clear social and economic impact on the local society. Together with the Danish group aBi Trust, the juice producer is the driving force behind the establishment of the Nwoya Fruit Growers Cooperative Society. This is a cooperative that brings various groups of small farmers together in ‘grower groups’. Thanks to the establishment of the Growers Cooperative, the local farmers receive a fair price for their products. This is an important step forward in the fight against poverty. And it’s happening in an area that was ravaged by the Lord’s Resistance Army not long ago. 

Thanks to its social work for the North Ugandan region, Delight has been included in the prestigious list of ‘Companies to Inspire Africa 2019. 

A big step towards self-sufficiency

In 2019Delight began a collaboration with UDC, the government authority for agricultural development, for the construction of a new factory in the Nwoya district. The new factory will be an important move for Delight. Every step in the production chain will be included in the company’s own operations. Delight will cultivate and grow its own fruit, partly via a partnership with the Nwoya Fruit Growers Cooperative Society. Delight will be able to process the fruit into juice itself and take care of the distribution and sale of the juices on its own. In doing so, both Delight and the government hope to become more independent from neighbouring companies that currently control a great part of the market. 

Cooperative as a lifeline

To ensure sufficient supply of fruit to the factory, good coordination between Delight and the Nwoya Fruit Growers Cooperative is crucial. Exchange will act as a facilitator in this relationship. For example, we will set up a post-harvesting system in collaboration with the cooperative to get a correct estimate of the harvest. Furthermore, the Delight training center will be used to further train the cooperative and logistical issues will be dealt with. In this way, Delight can continue to live up to its reputation as a smart company. Where profit and social engagement go together.

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Technology hub with outspoken social goals and a woman in charge

Mhub

Programme Coach
Maarten Van Eynde
Expert Team
Rik Michel
Yvan Rosseleer
Company partner
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MHub is a technology hub and business incubator in Lilongwe, Malawi. The company was founded in 2013 by Malawian tech-entrepreneur Rachel SibandeMHub stimulates technological entrepreneurs with training, competency development and mentoring. Through this, MHub aims to expand the ICT sector in Malawi and increase the employment opportunities across the country. The company has a very strong socio-economic profile and focuses on developing the talents of young people.  

MHub offers diverse services: 

  • Mentoring and incubation for tech start-ups; 
  • Organisation of hackathons and start-up courses; 
  • Partnerships with the business world and industry, aimed at the development of technological solutions; 
  • Software development. 

CISCO instructors and diverse revenue streams lead to high-quality growth

Well-trained professionals will be essential for setting up a market-oriented range of services. Trainers with internationally recognised certificates are of major added value for MHubEducated trainers may make the difference with the guiding of hackathons for younger people.  

As well as this, it is essential that MHub expands commercially. Only this way will it reduce its sensitivity to subsidies and gifts.  

There are two major benefits to a partnership between Exchange and MHub. Both the technological challenges (educated employees/trainers and an innovative and powerful offer) and the challenges in relation to business development (diversification of revenue streamsare being tackled, always with an eye on results.  

Concretely, this translates into the following goals for the growth programme:  

  • Certifying MHub trainers as CISCO trainers.
  • Developing high-quality and up-to-date technological services.
  • Guiding MHub in the commercialisation of their offer 

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What’s garbage for one is energy for another

Agruni

Programme Coach
Wouter Janssens
Expert Team
Anne Vandeputte
Company partner
Ecowerf Image result for icon link

The secret behind the clean streets of Kigali

Anyone who visits the Rwandan capital Kigali will be hard-pressed not to notice their immaculate streets. Through public tenders, the government selects private companies to ensure the cleanliness of the city. They pick up, collect and process industrial, domestic and street garbage throughout the cityAgruni is one such company, beginning their work in 2002. And today, Agruni is picking up at least three-quarters of the domestic and industrial garbage in Kigali. 

Waste gives agriculture an extra boost!

But it doesn't stop there. Agruni's main ambition is to focus on what happens after waste collection. Part of the non-organic waste is already being recovered and reused, but 80% of the waste collected is of an organic nature and nothing is being done with it at the moment. Agruni's future lies in valorising this organic waste. And what can a country where 90% of the population depend on agriculture make good use of? Correct: compost!

Expertise from the pioneering region Flanders

At Agruni, waste sorting is currently still done by hand on the Nduba dump site. Of course, the organic waste is already 'contaminated' by non-organic waste, making it difficult to make a solid compost from it. It has been proven that compost, provided the correct composition, increases the harvest significantly.

In this growth programme, Exchange will therefore mainly focus on the realization of usable compost on the basis of the collected organic waste. And let that be just one of the areas of expertise in which Flanders plays a pioneering role.

For example, we find a great deal of knowledge at the inter-municipal environmental company Ecowerf in East Brabant. For many years, Ecowerf has been responsible for waste prevention, waste collection and waste processing in 27 municipalities and cities. The company has also achieved a great deal in the domain of composting. Therefore, Exchange Coach Wouter Janssens, from Ecowerf, is extremely well placed to take on this role.

To further optimize the entire chain of operations, Exchange is also working with Agruni to see how current waste collection and transport can be organized even more efficiently.

Agruni and social innovation

Agruni is highly noted for its modern HRM policy and social commitments. Outside of the fact that half of the 1,800 employees are female, the company works with a savings fund. Vulnerable and sick employees are still guaranteed incomes. Plus, it offers a micro-financing formula to its own personnel. As a result, they can access loans that are more beneficial than those available through traditional channels. Agruni also supports a range of social projects every year, helping it to be recognised as an eminently sustainable company.  

The growth programme with Agruni has great potential: Mr Jean-Paul Shiraniro is a born entrepreneur with plenty of daring. Together with Exchange and Ecowerf, Agruni can ensure that Rwanda can further build on its image as a clean country. The great dream of recycling and valorizing all the collected waste remains. And where there’s a will (and a dream), there’s a way!  

ECOWERF
Ecowerf is an inter-municipal environmental company that is responsible for the waste policy of 27 municipalities and cities in East-Brabant, Belgium. Together with those cities and municipalities, Ecowerf is resolutely opting for a sustainable and integral waste policy, a policy that is innovative and plans for the future!
The ambition of the company is far-reaching: Ecowerf wants to be the absolute trendsetter in the field of waste management in Flanders. Limiting the environmental impact of their activities is more important than making a profit.

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Tour operators: the heart of the blossoming Ugandan tourism industry

Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO)

Programme Coach
Griet Geudens
Expert Team
Bart De Swaef
Ann Winnepenincx
Filip Nicasi
Petra Venekamp
Company partner
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The Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) represents the interests of Ugandan tour operators. Tourism in Uganda is increasing in importance as an economic activity. Every year, more than 200,000 tourists enter the country. Virtually all of them do so under the guidance of a tour operator. There’s no need to give any further explanation for why tour operators are the heart of the tourism sector.  

Tour operators bring tourists into contact with the right touristic services and activities. They are responsible for 90% of the bookings in safari lodges. Plus, they are also responsible for 90% of the income from the Bwindi Impenetrable National Parkmost prominently known as the home of the iconic mountain gorilla. It is one of Uganda’s most important tourist draws and is always handled with great care and pride.  

A smartly organized network

The growing popularity of tourism in Uganda has resulted in an increase in the client portfolio of the organisation. But there is also a flip sideeveryone wants their piece of the pie, but they are not always pursuing it with honesty or in a sustainable manner. There are many unprofessional and unexperienced operators who decide to start their own businesses without thinking things through. The great drop-out of members within the organisation is partially explained by the enormous number of operators who close their doors after a relatively short time.

To come to a more sustainable working method for the many tour operators, Exchange and AUTO entered into a three-year partnership. The partnership aims to provide a consultation platform in co-creation with the tour operator. This will eventually lead to more professionalisation. The focus will lie wholly on incoming tourism from abroadit is currently the most important market.  

Seeing the central and linking role played by AUTO in the Ugandan tourism landscape, other Ugandan partners also want to come on board. This will allow the services of various players in the sector to be better tuned to each other, resulting in a well-oiled tourism machine. Do you have upcoming travel plans? The Ugandan tour operators are at your service!  

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Tradeline hits the road with local farmers

Tradeline

Programme Coach
Johan Cottenie
Expert Team
Guy Callebaut
Noel Keersebilck
Company partner
REO veiling Image result for icon link
BRS Image result for icon link

Market access for local farmers

Since 2009Tradeline has been backing SMEs in the agricultural sector. The company supports small producers and increases their access to the market. They do this in three different ways:  

  • Through consulting on business development; 
  • By offering micro-credits to small players; 
  • Through the Local Buy programme that puts small farmers and SMEs in contact with distributors, sellers, consumers and exporters. 

A strong local market for Malawi

Malawi is an agricultural country. Small farmers are behind the vast majority of the agricultural products. For small farmers with limited resources for packaging, storage and transport, it is not easy to bring their harvests to market. This results in small producers being stuck with the leftovers, all while the major supermarket chainssearching for reliable supplies of quality productsoften import from South Africa. It’s vitally important that small farmers are integrated into the market.  

Until now, Tradeline has primarily functioned as a consultancy organisation. The strategy for 20192023 was recently revised with a more commercial role and a mission for the company itself.  

Tradeline and Exchange will collaborate on:  

  1. Setting up a distribution centre for sorting, packaging and marketing fruit and vegetables.
  2. Facilitating the market access of the farmer organisationsthat perform the marketing of the harvests. That may be done by having access to more storage space for dry foods and acting as a broker, organising delayed sales.  
  3. Strengthening the micro-financing body Tradeline so that they are better aimed at the right target group of small producers. 

The ultimate goal of Tradeline is to strengthen the local market. This will make them less dependent on the import of fruit and vegetables from South Africa. The capacity is there. It is important to invest in knowledge, transport and storage capacity.  

Flemish government/partners (REO and BRS)

Tradeline is partner of the Flemish government’s bilateral collaborationFor the realisation of the three important goals of the growth programme, there is an intensive collaboration with Nikolas Bosscherrepresentative of the Flemish government in Malawi.  

The Exchange team includes experts in micro-financing and professionals from the fruit-and-vegetable-auction sectorThere has been a collaboration set up with REO Veiling, Flemish pioneer in the setup of a cooperative auction structure, and BRS (Belgische Raiffeissenstichting), an expert in micro-financing. For the cherry on top, the Malawian agricultural minister visited REO Veiling in March 2018.   

This very strong triumvirate of experts will raise Tradeline to a higher level.  

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Excellent tourism for so much natural beauty

UHTTI

Programme Coach
Eric Decroix
Company partners
Hotelschool Ter Duinen Image result for icon link
Adfundum Image result for icon link

With a beautiful location along the banks of the Nile in Jinja, the Uganda Tourism and Training Institute (UHTTI) is the leading institution for tourism in Uganda. Over the past 25 years, more than 7,000 students have graduated from the renowned academy as tourism professionals.  

Every year, the tourism sector in Uganda increases in importance. In a country that is struggling with enormous youth unemployment, tourism can provide sustainable work opportunities. The institution cleverly plays on this. It prides itself on supplying highly qualified and competent workerswith excellent potential, to the national and international tourism market.  

No better experience than practice

Just as there are with many hotel schools in Belgium todaythere is also a hotel linked to the UHTTI. It allows students to transform their theoretical knowledge into practical experience. The hotel is also recognised as a historic monumentIt is run and managed entirely by students from the academy.  

A visionary pioneer with the right marketing

2019 is the year of large investments for the academy. Among others, the World Bank is investing in the highly promising tourism academy. The most important pillars of the expansion plan are:  

  • a new school for 600 students;  
  • a three-star hotel with the capacity for a hundred rooms;  
  • infrastructure for external events, catering to more than 700 guests.  

The planned investments need to transform the school and the hotel into a modern and visionary pioneer within the tourism sector. The success of such ambitious plans will of course be dependent on a powerful and clever marketing plan. And that’s where Exchange comes into the picture.  

 

Exchange vzw has already been assisting the academy for a number of years. In 2016the first growth programme for the hotel school was unveiled. A new strategy for Exchange was also paired with a new strategy for the academy and a new name. In the initial phase of the growth programme, the focus lay on the workings of the school and the skills of the employees. Experts from the renowned Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Koksijde went to Uganda to share their expertise. In 2018, the focus was placed mainly on marketing and communication. The marketing company AdFundum based in Roeselare is committed to sending UHTTI to a more professional marketing approach. This should sharpen the image of the hotel school and the associated hotel.

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Raising awareness is the key to sustainable waste management

Witzenberg Municipality (Ceres)

 

 

Programme Coach
Bert Bortier
Expert Team
Els Compernolle
Myriam De Munter
Anne Vandeputte
Partners
Essen Image result for icon link
GreenCape Image result for icon link

Exchange did not only visit Bergrivier, we also met with the Witzenberg Municipality to establish a partnership focused on waste management, waste reduction, composting and recycling.  

The situation in Witzenberg is quite different to the one in Bergrivier. There are still public garbage dumps in use. Recycling and waste separation at the source are still not very well-established behaviours. In Witzenberg, there is still a lot to be done.  

In October 2018, GreenCape performed a needs analysis in Witzenberg. This allowed Exchange to know what expertise and support would be required of us. Time to get to work!  

A third partner in this growth programme is the municipality of Essen. Essen is the twin city to Witzenberg as established in the VVSG twin cities agreement. They have been working together with the South African municipality on waste processing since 2002.  

Exchange will continue to build on the existing collaborations. As well as this, we will be facilitating the expertise exchange. Raising awareness, recycling, composting and collaborating with local recycling companies will be the focus points of the programme in Witzenberg. 

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