By Fiston Shyaka
Many career professionals don’t believe in the actual work that they are doing. Others are just satisfied with their work. Then there are people like Brian Aheisibwe, the CEO and Co-Founder at Skill Booster Ltd, a Rwandan-based company that provides different courses such as business development planning, business idea development, marketing and sales. Brian states: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
The company also provides skills in graphic design and customer care relations, digital and social media advertising, core computer skills, job preparedness and business consulting.
“We help leaders who have some issues in their business to know what the problem is and how it can be solved,” Brian said.
I was captivated to hear the story of how he came up with the business idea.
“It came from a previous job where I was working with a company that provides language courses English, French and Chinese,” he explained. “From this experience, I saw an opportunity to create a business which provided courses related to business plan development, job readiness and consulting.”
His key driving force which ultimately pushed him to take the leap and start the business is fabulous and interesting.
“I was determined to help people with my skills so that I can help their business to grow,” he said. “I believe that entrepreneurship is the most rewarding job, lifestyle and identity in the world.”
I was curious to know the origins of the company name Skills Booster.
“This means that we boost the skills of our clients. I came up with this name because my business intended to support clients with different skills to help their businesses to grow,” he said.
On how he got the capital for his business, Brian said: “Before starting my business, I had a job and with the money, I was able to save. I could start my business step by step. When I started providing courses to clients, I used the earnings to expand my business. Initially, I was only providing English courses, but as my business kept growing I began to expand with other offerings.”
Attracting customers is always a challenge for an entrepreneur. Brian said that he provides quality and affordable courses.
“To market my business, I use WhatsApp status updates that are seen by many people,” he said. “Also, we use social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We also use an affiliate system in which we pay a commission or provide training to individuals who bring us business. This has been quite successful because people are motivated by those benefits.”
On the culture that exists in Skill Booster Ltd, Brian said he accentuates the behaviors of integrity, the right attitude and respect for employees and the customers.
Advice for new graduates who want to become entrepreneurs
“The advice that I would give college graduates is to complete your education with skills instead of graduating only with the paper,” Brian explained. “When you have skills then it can help you to sell and earn money. You need to be determined and believe in yourself; nobody else will have the kind of drive and passion you have for your business. Starting your business requires hard work, long hours and persistence. Nobody said it was going to be easy but it is all possible and achievable. You do need to be prepared to overcome obstacles and have patience as things do not happen overnight.”
Here are some of the actions I will take from this interview as I pursue my dream of being an entrepreneur who impacts and solves the problems in my community.
Finish my education with skills instead of only a paper. Many students are motivated only with getting their degree in one way or another without considering the skills. I have been advised by Brian that I need to put much effort into gaining skills because they will help me in developing and implementing my business idea. I plan to develop my skills by brainstorming different business ideas and implementing them so that they can be helpful to the community.
Believe in myself and work hard. I need to believe in what I do, especially around my passions. I also need to know that in order to achieve something, I need to work hard.
Patience. In business, I always need to be patient because not everything will happen instantaneously.
I have lots of different ideas on how I can start my own business. Possibilities include online reselling, a real estate agency and online teaching. I think whichever route I go, these characteristics will help me and any other aspiring entrepreneur to be successful and have an impact.
Fiston Shyaka is a student at Southern New Hampshire University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.