During his primary school days, Aimé Ndizeye was a student leader and one of his tasks was ensuring that the classrooms always had enough chalk available for teachers. Like many children at that age, Aimé and his fellow student leaders would often collect chalk from the school stock at the very last minute and at times there was no chalk available. As a result, he and other student leaders in a similar situation would experience disciplinary action. While reminiscing with a university friend, Aimé reflected on the reasons he was given before facing various forms of punishments and in the midst of the conversation, his friend asked, “why was there often a shortage of chalk in the school stock?“ Long after the talk, two years after graduating from university, a year of research and training with SPARK, Aimé answered this very question in his own special way.
Chalk Chain Enterprise opened its doors in 2012 and since it’s opening has created 65 jobs. It currently has 15 full time employees who are supported by 50 temporary employees during periods of high demand for supply of chalk. The enterprise has experienced major growths during the years, during its 2nd year an 80% increase in turnover was experienced. This growth has not only been due to its quality chalk, but also its competitiveness and the fact that it aims to ensure that the customers’ needs are catered for.
The enterprise can now boast about having a large clientele from mainly the school and university sector in 8 provinces of the country, as well as international organizations such as IRC and UNICEF. Aime and his fellow partners still believe the enterprise has potential for growth, and already have plans to push ahead with producing and distributing chalk that is more affordable for customers.
What is your personal ambition?
To produce, distribute and sell quality chalk for educational institutions in Burundi.
What impact do you see your business making?
At the moment, Chalk chain is the only local enterprise producing chalks in Burundi. Furthermore, our chalks are more accessible and cheaper compared to imported chalks.
How do you see the future of your business?
Chalk Chain Enterprise desires to become the leading chalk supplier in Burundi, and to eventually expand internationally to the markets in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.