Formerly a university lecturer in entrepreneurship, Regina Nakayenga started Rena Beverage Solutions as her retirement plan when she turned 50. Rena produces highly nutritious beverages and powders from organically grown hibiscus flowers and seeds, palm seeds, okra and rosemary. Regina works with over 400 hibiscus farmers, offers internships to students from two local universities and chairs the Uganda Hibiscus Value Chain Development Association.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- Imminent retirement and the desire to create jobs as a motivator.
- Drawing inspiration from successful family held businesses operating in Uganda.
- Starting with under US$ 20 and growing her business with personal savings, contributions from company directors and family members plus a grant from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).
- Regina’s efforts to equip over 400 out-grower farmers to grow the right quality of hibiscus flowers for which Rena provides a guaranteed market.
- The phytochemical composition of Rena’s hibiscus beverages as confirmed by a local laboratory.
- The nutritional properties of Rena’s hibiscus beverages that help refresh and detoxify, as confirmed by the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, Makerere University Kampala.
- The criteria Rena had to meet in order to obtain the Quality Mark or “Q” Mark from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).
- Rena’s export prospects.
- The work of Uganda Hibiscus Value Chain Development Association – which Regina chairs – to strengthen the hibiscus value chain in Uganda. Partnerships with the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) and Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture.
- Lessons learned: Good management systems. Team work. Develop skills in your chosen field. Start your retirement plans now!
- Words of inspiration: Take a step today. Start small and keep on growing. Mind your product quality and keep finding ways to upgrade your products.
Private Sector Foundation Uganda: http://www.psfuganda.org/
Uganda Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries: http://www.gou.go.ug/ministry/ministryagriculture-animal-industry-and-fisheries
Uganda National Bureau of Standards: https://www.unbs.go.ug/