Why investors need pre-standardisation vigilance before setting up businesses

Desire Muhire.

Some entrepreneurs invest in various sectors but encounter countless challenges, some of which lead to an immense loss. Such challenges include starting a business without being aware of its standardisation requirements and how to fulfill them.

Opening business without conferring Rwanda Standard Board (RSB) is risk taking according to this institution.

According to RSB, it is better to close one’s business, once it does not comply with standards than letting it harm consumers’ health, no other choice.

While training members of PSDAG (Private Sector Driven Agriculture Project), Anicet Muriro, in charge of Zamukana Ubuziranenge program in Rwanda Standard Board, advised investors to consult RSB before bringing their products or services on market, otherwise they will fall into losses.

“Do not consider RSB as your enemy who aims at punishing you, but we cannot allow substandard products to exist while it can harm our people’s life, some of you, once we close your businesses you call it a loss, but it is not, it is the chance you get to innovate in what you do,” Muriro told trainees.

Chantal Umuhire, Deputy Chief of Party of PSDAG, which aims at increasing investment in Agriculture sector agrees with RSB statement, stating that the training will help addressing the issue of substandard by equipping business owners with ‘Zamukanubuziranenge’ begin with standards programme.

Chantal Umuhire, Deputy Chief of Party of PSDAG speaking to the media 

“The purpose of today’s training is to raise awareness among our partners about standards, what are the requirements, and why they have to include those requirements as part of their daily businesses.” Umuhire noted.

One of the challenges that private sector is facing is access to market, you cannot have liable market while your products and services are not fulfilling the requirements” Chantal said during media briefing

Trainees speak out

Aline Umuhizi, who exports avocados, pepper and fresh beans told The Inspirer that the training on standardization is vital as it improves their awareness and prevent them from falling into business failure.

“We have acquired added knowledge of examining products it each process until it reaches last consumer, for instance, for avocados, we have to bear in mind how to pack them to avoid decay, the standardization awareness is crucial to every investor” She said.

Jean Damascene Uwamahoro, who plants Flaxseeds, which is a new plant in Rwanda, said that, he is optimistic that his product will meet standards, even if he launched it without consulting RSB.

Jean Damascene Uwamahoro with its flaxseed plant

Flaxseed plant main function is to combat malnutrition and non-communicable diseases.

“They [RSB] will not throw out my product because, even though it is unknown plant across Africa and in Rwanda, when you go to the internet you will find it, and I am optimistic it will fulfill standards as I have followed all rules of planting and processing it from abroad.” Uwamahoro said revealing that he first knew this plant on internet and then abroad when he was in training.

Muriro said that, before, some entrepreneurs considered RSB as their opponent, but time after time, after many campaigns, many investors are being aware of the core role of the institution.

Trainees sitting for a one-day-training on Quality and safety standards, urged to consult RSB before bringing their products on market.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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