My name is Tafese, I am 24 years old and a graduate from Alchemy World from the round that finished IT & Entrepreneurship in May 2012.
Today I have my own business; I rent a sports hall and show football matches. The hall is also used for taekwondo training. I pay 3000 birr per month to rent the hall, including a projector. I charge 5 birr per person and there is approximately four matches per week and then some extra matches some weeks. The matches are usually held in the evening. For a main match up to 300 audiences show up. For a normal match 150-200 people buy tickets. I sell also soft drinks, water and snacks, but this service is only to attract customers. On each soft drink I earn only one birr.
I have had the business for 4 months and for a start this is very good. I am the only one working the business so the salary is satisfactory. But I would like to increase the profit.
Alchemy has helped me to grow this business, I have learned how small things can be changed to bigger things, and because of the follow up given to us by the instructor was really good, I was motivated to search for business opportunities and then I came up with this idea.
3000 birr was a big amount for me before I started the business. But after the Alchemy World training I learned to think bigger and how to change this to a more profitable business. In the future I want to improve this business. There are three main problems which I need to solve. The room gets very hot so if I get the money I will arrange a ventilator. If I can buy my own projector the rent will decrease by approximately 1.000 birr. A new Sony projector costs around 14.000 birr. Another thing the business needs is a generator for when the light is out. This happens frequently and I lose business on that. Sometime in the future I also want to install more chairs in the hall to attract more customers. For the investments in the business I want to save up - I don’t want to borrow the money for the risk is too big. I prefer to play safe and will rather work and build up the capital slowly and improve the business step by step.
Now my purpose is to grow this business by making it more attractive and making promotion. I was surprised to see people coming all the way here from Piazza. So I am confident that it will become a better business in the near future. In the long run my plan for the future is to remain an independent business man and also to become a prominent runner.
I want to thank Alchemy World for helping us think in a different way. Learning to start our own businesses is wonderful instead of just looking for jobs in a government office.
For Stephen: In addition it would have been better if Alchemy World would have supported the students with materials, encouragement and increasing follow-ups.