My name is Mengesha Dukamo Dula, I am 25 years old.
I finished the Alchemy World Microsoft ICT & Entrepreneurship course in autumn 2012. After this I started a business with a friend, an Internet café with six computers and a pool house next door. I had the idea and the plan, he had the money. The start-up cost 40.000 birr which was not too expensive, for the furniture and the pc’s and pool table were all second hand. And my friend had the funding so we didn’t have to borrow money elsewhere. We had the business for 8 months and within these 8 months the business helped us to buy a piece of land in the rural area, a good investment for the future.
But the Internet and pool business could not sustain our lives and this is why we decided to shut it down. It failed for two reasons: first of all it was difficult to keep up the Internet connection and so it was difficult to keep the customers in the Internet café. This is the reason that I want to change my business in the future. Secondly, the owner of the house increased the rent and because there were no customers it was impossible to pay.
This was the case with the pool house too. The initial rent for both shops was 2200 birr per month. But this rent was increased to 3000 birr, a large increase over a short period of time. The owner said the rent was increased because the area turned out to be good for business. When we decided to close the business the inventory, pc’s, furniture and the pool table was sold so my friend could get his investment money back. But even though the business failed we still have the piece of land and the experience of starting and managing our own business.
What I learned in Alchemy World has also helped me in college and in the university. The entrepreneurship course gave me a basic knowledge of business management and an understanding of entrepreneurship. And even in business management in college we didn’t learn about getting ideas for businesses and making business plans. So I appreciate what I have learned from my time with Alchemy World.
I have just finished my 1st degree (Bsc.) in business management and now I am looking for a job. I want to work in a micro finance department in a government office for some time. For I want to learn more about financing new businesses and start-ups and about where the money comes from. And in this job you also get you get to know a lot of people, you get a good network.
My experience with the start-up of my own business and managing it, and my IT skills from the Microsoft ICT & Entrepreneurship course with Alchemy World has already helped me a lot, and the basic computer skills I learned in that course are necessary for getting the job that I am now applying for.
From my experience I have also learned how to attract and handle customers and how to make them return. But most importantly I have learned to believe in myself and how to deal with challenges. Very much, be tam!
In the future after I get some experience in the department of micro finance my plan is to start my own business again; I want to open another pool house - but next time with a small café inside that sells fast food and juice so I can attract more customers and keep them in my shop for a longer time. This is my dream for the future.