Oscar Nzeyimana: Building a sustainable future with bamboo entrepreneurship

Oscar Nzeyimana is an ambitious 29-year-old entrepreneur, family man, and founder of Mon Bamboo Ltd in Rubavu District dedicated to making bamboo products. Visitors can observe firsthand the transformation of bamboo into elegant home decor pieces such as furniture, baskets, lamp holders, and other decorations in his workshop and showroom in the Rubavu Integrated Craft Production Center showroom and workshop. Furthering his success is his commitment to sustainability through growing the bamboo used in his production while ensuring a greener future as well. Oscar also invests his time in training young people and offering employment possibilities.

Oscar studied tourism and hospitality in university. After struggling to find job opportunities in his field, he decided to shift and take courses on processing bamboo in China. 

In 2015, Oscar founded Mon bamboo Ltd. Starting alone at home with one casual worker, he moved to a bigger space at Kanyakore Atelier, in Rubavu; which helped to increase his production. In 2018, he won 3 million Rwandan Francs from the YouthConnekt Awards, which helped him hire more employees and increase his production further. 

However, Oscar soon realized that he needed to improve his business management skills to run a fast-paced business. He commented that: “I understand how to make products out of bamboo trees, but I know I have a lot more to learn concerning effective business administration. When my company began expanding, it became clear that I would need guidance when it came to managing such a fast-paced operation.” 

To address this matter, Oscar sought training from Inkomoko in 2018. Oscar was able to take his business to the next level with a 12 million RWF loan from Inkomoko. Thanks to this investment, Oscar was able to open new workshops in Kigali and Huye and supply goods to various areas throughout East Africa. As a result, he now has an impressive team of 12 permanent employees and 30 casual workers located around Rwanda.

His company is a shining example of how entrepreneurship can promote sustainable tourism and positively impact local communities. Rubavu, through Oscar, offers visitors the opportunity to see how bamboo is produced, to learn about its benefits, and to purchase beautiful home décor items made from sustainable materials. 

Oscar plans to develop greenhouses to grow bamboo that is very necessary for construction. In addition to employing and training young people across three workshops, Oscar encourages youth to be creative and not wait to be employed by corporations, but to consider entrepreneurship instead.

By obtaining the necessary certifications, Oscar plans to expand the number of products made from bamboo, since he currently produces only 20% of what can be processed from bamboo. As a role model for young entrepreneurs in Rwanda, Oscar has helped develop young people throughout the country.

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