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I have seen many stories of entrepreneurship this semester coming from the students, and wanted to share it with you and thank you for your support that makes this possible.

I wanted to share this report that I received from 3 of our students who are attending the Van Duyse Institute in Benin Africa.  They were asked to participate in the 14-day product creation challenge, where they were given a small loan of $40 USD (20,000 F CFA) and had to start selling so that they would make a profit and find ways to improve the product that they are selling.

The journey this team took is interesting.  At the end of the activity they not only made a profit of $100USD (50,000 fCFA) but they were able to negotiate a 35% stake in the business if they continued to work with the owner to improve his business. Read the report below.

Things are coming together and we are building leaders. Thanks for your support.

Gregory van Duyse



Report Of The Activity « Pains Fourés »
by Leandre Adimou, Modeste Kpadonou and Robert Mensah.

On Friday January 10th 2014, after watching the videos of the 14 days challenge, we discussed about the business opportunities we could approach. Finally we decided that our business opportunity was to sell “pains fourés” (stuffed bead) and “yaourt” (yogurt). That evening, we went to meet a man who had been in this business. However, his business was not going on as he expected and therefore he had given up. His name is JP, and he was happy about our idea of a partnership for two weeks to help him promote the business and to scale it. He accepted the common ground that each party will gain 50% of all the profits that will be made at the end of the two weeks, but everything was to be financed by us. We concluded the negotiation by requesting a list of needed ingredients, and we received it the following day (Saturday morning).

Following are the ingredients needed :
Pain Fourés (stuffed bread)
*Farine de blé (wheat flour)
*Œufs (eggs)
*Beurre (butter)
*Sucre (sugar)
*Viande de bœuf (beef)
*Oignon (onion)
*Persil (parsley)
*Aille (garlic)
*Huile (oil)
*Sel (salt)
*Levure (baking powder)

*Lait en Poudre (pouder milk)
*Sucre glacé (sugar glaze)
*yaourt fan (plain yogurt)
*Arome vanille (vanilla extract)

On Saturday afternoon we got a call from JP asking us to meet him. We went there, only to find out that the negotiations were about to fail. We talked to him and understood that JP was skeptic and he no longer trusted a partnership because of his past experiences. We restarted the negotiations, but he argued in a way to discourage us, by increasing the expenses, and finally decided to finance everything by himself. However, later on same day, he called us again and asked us to do as we negotiated on the first day of discussion.

On Monday 13th, we went to the market to buy the items and agreed to start selling the next day. Then on Tuesday, on the first day of selling, we spent 15200F CFA including the electricity bill, and we gained 3350F CFA as profit, after removing all our expenses and given 30 bread (cost 3000F) and 10 yaourts (cost 2000F) for free. The breads were sold for 100F and the yaourt for 200F. We opened our selling every day at 5 pm and closed everything by midnight.
On Wednesday 15th, we invested 13200F and gave 25 breads and 8 yaourts for free. That was equal to 4100F. Our profit that day after removing all the expenses (our transport and others things) was 3575F.

On Thursday 16th, we invested 13000F, we gave 6 breads (cost 600F) for free. After removing all the expenses that day profit was 3575F. On that day we delivered our first command of 30 breads to one of our new clients.

We gave 9 breads and 2 yaourts for free, which equal 1300F on Friday 17th. Our expenses were 16125F and the net profit was 4050F.

Our net profit on Saturday was 6300F after giving 10 breads for free and spending 15100F as expenses.

The strategy for this first week was essentially to invite people to test the product by giving samples for free. We also invited our friends and people we knew. We stayed on the road and invited passengers to test. And the majority that tested the product bought it, and some even become our daily customers. The total profit at the end of this week is 20850F CFA and the total of what we gave for free was 12000F CFA.  We worked in and on this business for an average of 12 hours per day.

The second week was a new level of our “new business” and Mr. JP was so happy about what we have achieved so far. He was very open with us and even admitted that it was the first time he had made that much of profit in one week.

On Monday January 20th 2014, we started our activities as usual by 10 am, by doing daily preparations such as going to the market to buy ingredients, washing the cups, the plates, the chairs and the tables. We finally opened at 5pm. We noticed that there are 3 big schools near the place where we are conducting our business. Our objective was to find the way to sell our product to those schools. We found out that it was not so easy to integrate with those schools, so we focused more on how we can make the students aware of our products. We started inviting those students who were passing in front of our STAND to test the product for free. After trying some free samples, some students bought from us. Our profit that day was 5950F and the expenses were 14500F, we gave 1000F of breads for free.

On Tuesday 21st, we followed the same strategy. We noticed that some of the students that we invited the previous day came back again on their own to buy from us. They even brought some friends with them. The net profit on Tuesday and Wednesday was 7350F, we gave 10 breads for free on Tuesday and 10 breads for free on Wednesday. The total expenses for those two days were 11425F.

Our expenses on Thursday 23rd were 5500F, we gave 10 breads for free and the net profit was 2500F. This is where we are at the moment and we will continue selling this evening. We actually have 2 commands for tomorrow and we have already cashed the money. One of the commands is for 50 breads and 30 yaourts, and the other is for 30 breads and 30 yaourts. We estimated the profit on those two orders to at 8000F.

Mister JP informed us some days ago that he wants us to continue working with him in a new partnership, which we will discuss with him probably tomorrow.

Friday January 24th 2014

On Friday evening, we gave 15 breads for free (cost of 1500F) and after taking out our expenses, the net profit of what we sold was 13600F. Our expectation this evening was to reach the goal of 50.000F as the average profit for the two weeks. We invested more than usual and we gave 15 breads for free. At the moment, we are at a profit of 50250F for two weeks.

Later this day, we discussed with the owner about a new partnership he taught about. We came into certain agreements and one of them was that we will have 35% of the daily profit that the business will make, not by working with him all the time, but by creating a better process. Another important decision that was made is that we are in charge of hiring people for the business and he will be the one to invest into the business activities. For the future commands, we are still negotiating on how that must be. We also agreed that everything that’s decided would be on a written contract that the two parties will sign. On Monday January 27th 2014, we will start the new partnership with him, finalize the discussions and will start hiring the first employee during the week. The salary of the employee will be considered as an expense for the business.

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