We caught up with the truly inspiring entrepreneur, Ubukombe Pacifique, Co-founder and sales & marketing director at Ishusho Ltd , to find out his wonderful entrepreneurial journey and his experience working as a young entrepreneur .
We are grateful for his valuable time as he shared his successes to inspire young entrepreneurs in our country.
Could you please tell us about yourself and what you do?
I am by names of Pacifique Ubukombe, an entrepreneur by nature, a voracious reader (i have actually read above 3000 books in my entire life), mensa member,writer,thinker and a student of life. Currently, i have ventured in various initiatives but the main one for the present time is ISHUSHO Ltd. Basically ISHUSHO Ltd is an audio-visual content production company that entirely focuses in public relations and communications agency. I also do some business consultancy especially in marketing and branding. I do also help budding entrepreneurs create a vision for their businesses because i realized that most of them do not have clarity at startup phase.
Tell us about your entrepreneurship journey .when and how did you start? What problem do you tackle and how are you changing the community?
I started entrepreneurship when i was 6 years old. I have always enjoyed freedom ever since i was a little baby. That is what my mum tells me usually. So back then she bought me a bicycle because she vowed to do it if i would attain excellent academic performance. My bike was unique and stood out among other bikes in the neighborhood. So i had to leverage on this. So fellow kids started giving me money to ride on my bike. i would save the money and buy whatever toy i desired, launched birth day parties for my friends. Currently with my company ISHUSHO , we are trying to help business communicate well both with their customers and internally and also helping them create a good image to the public leveraging on audiovisual content (Public relations). That is the problem we are solving after realizing that many companies being small, medium or large corporations fail in communications using even old school communication channels. And i think with, that tackling such issue is the way we are changing the community on the personal level and business level. I am also an education advocate not the school system but for people educating themselves through reading and learning from mentors to shorten their learning curve. I strive to have a more knowledgeable society.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be an entrepreneur at your age? Was it that easy? Tell us also your secret formula for success.
After high school,I made a lot of sacrifices. My social relationships deteriorated due to the strong fact that i had many things to get involved in. I had bad business partners, my family (siblings and mother) spent 3 years without seeing me around and they thought i had abandoned them.No I was working hard. I became homeless for 3 months because I had invested rent money in a venture that later alone failed. Few years ago, i dated the most beautiful lady on earth but we broke up because I was always busy in my entrepreneurial ventures. Up to now, i have established 17 businesses of which 16 of them all failed. You see? Lots of sacrifices. To the extent i have had so many academic scholarships and turned them down. It is a sacrifice. Many people always think i am crazy due to many opportunities i have turned down. There is no particula formula for success that i have except working both hard and smart, finding the balance in life and investing in oneself as early as possible.
Many young people are still FEARFUL on taking the risk and embracing entrepreneurship what can you tell them?
The only way for financial freedom is to have a business or if not having multiple skills that give you different sources of income. For example, i was with my friend in Europe and then we run out of cash, yet we had to live for more days there. I gave him an idea that we can leverage on skills we have and earn more.He was a good dancer with african styles, then myself went in night clubs and introduced this dancer and signed a contract for few days and our stay in Europe was amazing. Should we have remained stuck financially, then we would have had troubles. Having multiple sources of income is the way to attain financial freedom or independence. We took risks. I tell and always challenge the young ones to monetize that thing which they are usually good at it compared to many people. Then if you do not take risks, who will do them for you?No one. Entrepreneurship is overrated, you don’t need to be an entrepreneur to take risks, taking risks is in everything in life.
What advices do you have for young unemployed men and women in Rwanda?
We live in a world where people got college degrees and can’t even get a job.That’s sad.Do you know what will guarantee you work whether as an entrepreneur on your own, or working for somebody else in a great job?The ability to see the big picture, have common sense and take action. It’s so important to be able to give people insight and not just be a robot. Sitting down in a chair and whine about having no job, does not guarantee that you will have it. Keep looking for a job and if you are entrepreneur, keep looking customers. Above all, one must know that we get paid by bringing the value on the market place.
An average guy comes to you and say Mr Pacifique ,i have got 500k Rwf in my savings ,where do i begin my business from ? What would you say?
Business is not about how much money you have in your savings, it is rather the knowledge you have in alignment with your skills. If one has 500k francs, i would give them the best advice few people can give them to first invest in themselves. Buy books, Travel the country and get insights about what you want to do(in your area). 500k would not do much do much in the business world rather i wold advice to invest in themselves. Just knowledge. Then the knowledge acquired can help earn more for starting a business.
It is an honor to have been interviewed by you. I appreciate that. I always feel humbled. Even next time, you are welcome.