Classroom Experiments Give Birth to a Thriving Business

Rwandan science teacher Cephas Nshimyumuremyi had to start his business with six years ago, with just $10. It may sound less than promising, but Nshimyumuremyi made that initial initial investment go a long way. Today, his company Uburanga Products, which makes herbal jelly and soap from local medicinal plants, is worth $40,000 and employs more than 12 workers. His idea for natural cosmetics with healing properties came from trying to teach his students how the science they were learning in class could be applied in practical ways: “I teach chemistry so I showed my students how you can test a plant, and know the capacity of that plant to kill bacteria,” says the young entrepreneur, who launched his company in a bid to supplement his income from teaching
Don’t think that you need a lot of capital. Start with little, but use the knowledge and the environment that you already have. Nshimyumuremyi also wanted to use the local medicinal plants, used by some traditional healers, in a scientific way. He says his future goal is to provide the solution for “some skin diseases in Africa.”


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