How do we work…
In recent weeks we have been asked from various angles: “It’s great that you want to set up such a project/company, but how do you actually go about it? Where do you start and what needs to be arranged?” A good question that we have of course often thought about and still do every day. You don’t have a manual in this country, but by planning, thinking and moving step by step, we also make progress step by step. A quick summary of what we are doing:
In the July newsletter we wrote about how we came up with the idea of setting up a company in Ethiopia. The idea arose from Holland Dairy (a dairy factory in Ethiopia) to make packaging material for local products in Ethiopia. This makes it easier for the companies here to sell their products. Now it’s either impossible or they have to import very expensive packaging, which is bad for the country’s economy. Here’s how we proceeded:
- Our research phase started in the Netherlands with the search for machines that process plastics. Before we start, we need to know how the production process works. By delving deeply into this, we now have a good idea of the possibilities and difficulties.
- Here in Ethiopia we have started a market research . In addition to Holland Dairy, there are many other small dairy factories, but also other companies that need packaging material. In the first days we started looking for these companies. Visiting shops that sell dairy products, finding addresses from the yellow pages (they have those here too) and lots of networking. Today we visited the last dairy manufacturers and all in all we have a good idea of the market. We have spoken to many (currently potential) customers and they are all very enthusiastic! We didn’t realize in advance that this idea would have so much positive impact…
- The competition research took a lot less effort. We soon discovered that there are no serious plastic manufacturers who produce ‘our’ products. A unique opportunity!
The research phase is very important before we even start the company. That does not mean that we are not yet looking ahead and working on the next steps:
- Finding a local partner ; We hope to be able to tell you more about this soon. In any case, we are ‘In progress’ 🙂
- A piece of ground ; We have a very nice piece of land in mind that we can hopefully continue with. There is a hull factory hall on it where the past 12 years (!) nothing has been done with it. We hope to find the owner and negotiate with him. Yesterday we went to the mayor and presented him with our plans. He was very enthusiastic and will immediately investigate whether we can get that piece of land.
- Import duties ; Because we only import raw materials and a large part of our products will also be exported, this is very positive for the country’s economy. And after all, that is what everyone should eat together. Therefore, we probably have to pay very little import duty on our raw material.
- Overview of the investment ; Now that we are here on site, we can make a realistic estimate of the costs. We request quotes for buildings, trucks, a water well, electricity costs, personnel costs, etc.
- One point that we are working on a lot now, but certainly in the future in the Netherlands, is the search for investors . Of course, without this party we cannot do anything. We are exploring various investment options and approaching investors. If you have any ideas for this, we would love to hear them!
- Finally, we are in discussions with the foreign exchange bank (necessary to purchase the raw materials, but quite difficult here), we are finding our way togovernment buildings and tax offices etc. All in all, more than enough things to keep busy… We still have a week to sort out the most important things here.
“The piece of land we are working on (blue). A beautiful place! We hope to hear more about it early next week.”
During these weeks it has truly been God who has guided us day by day! He paves the way for us, opens doors and closes them where necessary (although that has not actually happened so far). He always brings the right people our way and ensures perfect timing. It is incredible how many steps forward we have come and how much blessing we are experiencing! That’s our God!