“Living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” These are the words that inform the life of this week’s entrepreneur, Ronnie Mboya, 25 and a senior at The United States International University- Africa, (USIU-A).
What’s a Rocaffe? And what does it do? He tell us…
1. What is the innovation?
Rocaffé is a startup coffee shop that will be located at the ever expanding environs of my campus (United States International University). It will boast a unique and vibrant cafe-restaurant and bakery that will arguably be the highlight of the campus’ ever-expanding dining scene. Rocaffé will be more than a coffee shop. It will be staple in the lives of campus students and residents in the immediate environment who will count on us for quality, consistency and a beautiful place to be every day.
2. What problem does it try to solve?
With the population of the university on the rise, as well as residential housing around the proposed location of Rocaffé, we felt putting up a coffee shop filled a much needed market need. With limited access to spaces where students, staff and the general population can meet, mingle, work or unwind over a cup of coffee or a meal, Rocaffé was purposefully built to meet this need.
3. What start up resources did it use?
Starting a coffee shop cum bakery requires a large injection of capital. The space in which it is located was in a new building where the tenants were expected to renovate their own spaces, as it is with most real estate properties coming up. Renovation costs were quite high considering we had to build a mezzanine floor, tile the space, build a kitchen, furniture, equipment, and of course one of the most important factors, a significant amount of money in the bank as working capital.
Another really important resource it used up was my time. About a year and a half of my life was spent planning and building up Rocaffé, in order to see the vision we had become a reality.
4. How has it (the start up) contributed to the creation of job employment?
Since the idea of Rocaffé was conceptualized, it has created various avenues through which various people were able to earn an income. As a start, the graphical design of the coffee shop was done by a university graduate looking to get some work experience under his belt, and earn some money as well. When renovations started, there have been various people who were involved, all of whom earned an income in one way or another. Once open, Rocaffé will employ a minimum of ten permanent employees and about four part time employees as well.
You can follow his blog here for more updates on the coffee shop, and what else he does when not thinking business.
All photos courtesy of Ronnie.
By Vera Njambi