Entrepreneur Snapshot: With Help From CLE Project, Natural Juice Producer Preps for Possible Expansion
Monique Billa-Sirima graduated with certification in a typing course. But she quickly decided the employee’s life was not for her. Instead, she created Daburu in 2002. The agro-food company, based in Banfora, Burkina Faso, produces non-timber forest products and cereals—particularly liana juice, one of the most popular natural drinks in Burkina Faso.
Though she has operated in food processing for more than 20 years, Mme. Billa-Sirima faces constant challenges as an entrepreneur. “My biggest challenge is the production of the raw material,” she explains, noting that the liana vines she uses for her juices are not readily available year-round due to them being a popular export product to Mali and the Ivory Coast. She solved that issue by growing her own vines, with support from the Institute of the Environment and Agricultural Research: “I had the idea of cultivating my vine myself for the production of my juice,” she said.
The organic vines allow Mme. Billa-Sirima to ensure the quality of her drinks. Daburu’s products are also pasteurized and bottled, compared to competitor products, which are not pasteurized and packaged in sachets.
Better profit calculations, better distribution channels
Even with these advantages, Mme. Billa-Sirima applied to receive incubation support from the Cultivons L’Esprit de l’entreprise (CLE) project. CLE leverages entrepreneurship to improve the economic prospects of Burkinabe men and women. The project currently offers incubation support to 25 companies in Burkina Faso. Tanager is a lead implementer of the project.
The incubation support has helped Daburu to boost her business and have a better sense of business revenues. “I benefit from the support of a coach, who helps me to plan better through a provisional cash flow plan. This promotes a better knowledge of the cost of production to know precisely the profit made,” reports Mme. Billa-Sirima.
The program additionally enhances the visibility of her company and products through special exhibitions. And, because the company takes in orders from the capital city of Ouagadougou and other localities, Daburu is also receiving support to develop its distribution channel.
Next up for the company: Increased production. Mme. Billa-Sirima is building a wall to separate the production area from her house. Eventually, she hopes to move operations into a different building altogether. With CLE support, the possibilities appear endless.