Africa
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African Influencers For Development 

Uwineza Nelly Aline

Hand Sanitiser Factory
(Rwanda)

Uwineza Nelly Aline had never planned to set up a factory for hand sanitizers, she had founded the Tropical Brewery and Winery in Kicukiro, Kigarama prefecture in Rwanda, in the hope of cracking the beverage industry. Then, COVID-19 came to town.

I believe that as young entrepreneurs, we should be part of the necessary solutions and help our communities to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

HAND SANITIZER MANUFACTURING
“Tropical Brewery and Winery was initially meant to be a beverage company. The idea was to brew different types of craft beers. But before the idea materialized, the Coronavirus pandemic struck,” Nelly says. As the old adage goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” She thought on her feet. “I immediately said to myself – make hand sanitizers! Not just as a business, but also as my contribution in the fight against Coronavirus virus. So I changed my business from beer brewing and wine making, to manufacturing hand sanitizers.”

SHORTAGE OF HAND SANITIZERS
Her move came in handy not only for her business, but most Rwandans needing access to affordable hand sanitisers. At one point during the pandemic, Rwanda even faced a shortage of hand sanitizers, and the few that were available were expensive due to high demand, as COVID-19 disrupted logistics and supply chains across the world. “I believe that as young entrepreneurs, we should be part of the necessary solutions and help our communities to overcome the COVID-19 crisis,” states the 32-year-old entrepreneur.

“So I started making hand sanitizers using locally sourced good quality produce such as Rwanda-grown aloe vera on which our product is based. Because we source locally, our prices are lower, compared to imported sanitizers.” Nelly is now working with local cooperatives to grow the aloe vera, thereby creating employment.

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