Nzeyimana was born in a poor village in the south of Rwanda, where no one had electricity. Like many children in his village, he had to wake up early every morning to collect firewood in the forest before walking five kilometers to school.
Nzeyimana always wanted to solve people’s problems. Entrepreneurship became a viable path to achieve that.
“My greatest inspiration is that every little thing I do makes an impact in somebody else’s life. This makes me feel responsible for all the lives I am impacting, and those I can potentially impact,” he says.
Habona Ltd doesn’t stray that far from firewood. It offers affordable and environmentally friendly services and energy fuels in the form of biomass briquettes and biogas waste.
“Our briquettes are efficient substitutes to wood charcoals and help cut over 30% of household fuel spending every year. Throughout briquette production, the by-product is fresh nutrient organic matters that are composted to make organic fertilisers for farming.”
The company is also diversifying into the installation and operation of clean power plants, ranging from waste to energy, such as solar, biomass, hydro, and wind, as well as climate-smart farming.
“The most challenging issue I faced was outstripping the issue of age to earn trust. A lot of policies out there don’t favor young people. We are accused of having no experience and no money to run businesses of our dreams,” he says.
His work has paid off. Nzeyimana employs 25 people. To top it off, he shared a stage on a panel with former US President Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the Global Innovation Summit last year.
Nzeyimana is heading for bigger stages.