Lydie Kanyamuneza, The Medical Student Who Produces Cookies

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Lydie Kanyamuneza is 20 years old. She completed her secondary studies at Lycée Notre Dame de l’Annonciation in Bukeye. She currently studies Medicine in the first year at the University of Ngozi. In March 2023, she officially launched her owncompany Cooswee (Cookies +Sweet=CooSwee) which produces and sells cookies.

Before creating her own business, Lydie used to produce biscuits, pancakes, and other types of flour products. “But I made them either for birthday occasions or just to eat them myself. Then I thought that I could make a profit from the knowledge I had,” she says.

 

Lydia Kanyamuneza holding her cookies

 

Having noticed that in Burundi there are not enough companies producing biscuits, even less cookies, Lydie thought of creating a company specialized in producing cookies. “Often cookies are imported and are sold at very high prices. From there, I thought I could try making good quality cookies and sell them at an affordable price,” she reveals.

Knowledge trumps practice in

Lydie will do online training to refine her cookies. “I first did some online training thanks to the Eloquentia Bootcamp. Then I continue to try and try again to be able to reach my final goal.”

And added, “It was difficult for me to start because I was newly admitted to university so I had problems with lack of time but then I decided to get started and it had an impact positive.”

 

Lydie Kanyamuneza and her friend holding cookies

Lydia’s cookies are made by raw materials like flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, yeast, butter and chocolate. “For the moment, I’m making them myself but I would like to have someone who could help me or who could work on them full time, because with studies I can’t work every day,” she reveals to us.

Lydie is pleased that there is currently added value compared to her beginnings. “People are getting more and more used to my cookies and I get good feedback from my customers who often eat my cookies

One must have a vision

When Lydia got into cookie production, she had financial problems because she had some materials that she didn’t have. « Luckily, my parents helped her and she was able to get some », she confides.

On the question of lack of time, she said that she was able to define her priorities on what she should focus on and when to do it. “It helped me because I found enough time for my studies but also for my project. I can’t say that if you really want to achieve your goals, you have to know how to sacrifice yourself because you would never have time to do something. We would have calls here and there but if we set priorities, it’s definitely better than waiting for the right moment to start,” she advises.

 

Lydie’s friend holding Cooswee cookies

She addes, “All the same, it remains a little difficult for me, because I do all the tasks alone, it becomes tiring since I do it with my studies on top of it.”

Lydie sells her cookies for 2500 Fbu per box. At the moment she sells them a lot online. But there is a point of sale at Game Station (G.S) in Kinanira very close to the ENA after crossing the pavement, where there are video games.

In 5 years, Lydie plans to be able to produce biscuits that can supply all regions of Burundi given that in almost all shops you only find imported biscuits. “And why not be able to export them outside the country,” she exclaims

Lydie advises young people, especially girls, to first of all believe in themselves, have self-confidence, that they can do something with a positive impact. “Then, that they dare to dream and dream big, also that they should not tell themselves that it will take a lot of resources to be able to start your project. You should try to divide your goals into small steps and this will allow you to savor the little things already accomplished which will encourage you to move forward in your sector. Also, you have to be serious with your project, if there are things that you were spending a lot of time on, you should stop to better focus on your goals.

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