While some teachers say their salaries are meager, Elias Uwizeyimana, a Biology teacher at GS Rutonde in the Ngeruka Sector, Bugesera District, fought the possibilities by using loans from the Teacher’s Saving and Credit Cooperative. to start businesses he sources. huge income beyond his teaching work.
Uwizeyimana was recently awarded a motorcycle for being an outstanding teacher who used loans given to teachers to develop themselves.
He was awarded at the provincial level in the province of the East.
In 2012, I got a Rwf600,000 cash advance loan and I was able to start a stationery company called “Papeterie Umuryango Ltd”. I opened this business in our area because there is only one stationary shop but the demand for such materials is high from schools, offices and others, ”he said.
When he opened a stationary shop, his salary as a teacher was Rwf21,000 per month in A2 degree.
“I started with a photocopier and some stationary products. I started renting the shop at Rwf25,000 per month. I was the first person to introduce photocopier machines to the area so I had a market. I continued to expand the stationary. shop with emergency loans and advance salary loans, ”he said.
In 2018, he spent part of the income from the stagnant business and opened another business where he buys agricultural products and supplies them to various markets and schools.
He said he opened another stationary shop in the Kamabuye sector and in 2020, he also launched a beekeeping project.
“Using the income from the stalled business, I bought land where I am implementing a beekeeping project. I am already supplying honey to the market. On the same land, I also built banana plantations and forest plantations, ”he said.
The 44-year-old biology teacher, father of three, said he bought a house with annexes to the Ruhuha center and has also started a brick production business.
“This house brings in income because people rent and pay me every month. I used to rent the house where the first opened stationary shop was located but later I bought it and it is now my own property,” he said. said.
All the businesses he owns, he said, are making between Rwf600,000 and Rwf800,000 per month earning between Rwf7.2 million and Rwf9.6 million per year.
Currently, he estimates, his businesses and assets he has created since 2012 are worth between Rwf60 million and Rwf80 million.
“I have a vision to continue expanding my stationery business and other businesses. Business does not affect my teaching. I continue teaching as my passion.
I worked with people helping me run these businesses while I was in school. During my vacations, I get time to think about improving my business, ”he said.
He said he still has many projects planned to be submitted to the cooperative for financing.
“I want to tap into a school feeding program to get a market. I am also thinking of setting up a corn processing plant, ”he said.
Uwizeyimana advised other teachers to use the Teacher’s Saving and Credit Cooperative to generate additional income as a way to cope with teachers ’meager salaries.
“For example, beekeeping is something that teachers can easily do. A liter of honey is between Rwf5,000 and Rwf6,000. Chicken is another viable business that you can start with little resources. Teachers can apply for a loan from their cooperative because the Interest rate is 11 percent lower compared to other banks, ”he said.
What others say about him
Norbert Musangamfura, a teacher at GS Rutonde, said he was a lot of inspiration to teacher Uwizeyimana.
“Hard work is a good inspiration. Using bank loans and making viable small businesses profitable is a great step that should inspire all teachers. It is surprising and interesting that he manages to run a business and his teaching is also great. At the ordinary level where he teaches biology, students perform well on national exams like all of us who observe it in school, ”he said.
Jean Marie Vianney Nsengimana, a Uwizeyimana employee at the stationary, said she was unemployed before meeting the businessman.
“I continued accountancy in school but I went two years to look for a job. I was lucky to work as a teacher. If all teachers had varied sources of income, they could create businesses and earn many young people are unemployed, “he said.
He said he bought land and got married because of work.
“I am able to satisfy my family’s needs through this business. I was inspired by this teacher that it is possible to start with a small investment and start a small profitable business, ”he noted.
Jacques Gashumba, who manages education in Bugesera District urged teachers to change their mindset and diversify sources of income.
“Often, teachers say that they earn a small salary but if they change their attitude, they may realize that they have opportunities available at Umwalimu Sacco that can generate huge income. We have many teachers like Uwizeyimana who are now millionaires because they took advantage of the opportunities, ”he said.
Umwalimu SACCO has provided loans to its members worth more than Rwf260bn since 2008.
Uwizeyimana was rewarded with a motorcycle for his exemplary use of loans given to teachers to develop themselves.