RUTH is among the 24 outstanding entrepreneurs shortlisted for the 4th Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards(CMA) in Tanzania.
Business: MILK PROCESSING
Organisation: SIDO MWANZA
Location: MAHINA KATI, MWANZA
Ruth started her business in 2018. She produces both plain and strawberry flavoured yoghurt. The business is located in Mwanza but has outlets in Geita and Shinyanga. Ruth was first inspired to start fermenting milk by a fellow entrepreneur in milk production. She was dissatisfied with her salary, where she was working on a full-time basis. Entrepreneurship was a way to earn more money and improve her livelihood.
Ruth attributes her success to good relations with people and joining business associations like Tanzania Milk Processors Association.
She makes sure all her employees are well versed with the rules and art of milk production and processing. Her first loan of Tshs 12 million was from CRDB Bank. It enabled her to buy ‘grade’ cows from Mbeya Kitulo. Sido loaned her Tsh 3 million for transportation. Sido also helped her meet all the right organizations such as TFDA and TBS. SIDO also enabled her to register her business. In addition, Sido loaned her 5million to cater for biogas production and 6million for buying land and milking equipment. She teaches her community the benefits of milk consumption. She uses the mass media, primarily the radio to advertise the business. She also sells from door to door.
Vision: To increase the factory size and have more cows. Start her own packaging company.
Challenges: The main challenge was competition from experienced companies that was solved mainly by researching their weak points and making sure she solved the issues in question with her products.
Another challenge was increasing production costs. She solved the challenge by introducing biogas. She also bought more cows to cut the costs of outsourcing milk. She was paying a lot of money to professionals for production, which was solved by educating young people to take over.
Impact: She has a better sense of community than before. Source of livelihood and offers employment. She also sponsors a youth in Tanga doing nursing.
Opinion: Ruth is a creative problem solver. When faced with a challenge, she finds the most economically viable solution to it.