Starting a business part-time: Entrepreneurial stories

Prima is a woman who is singularly open to the world and to the multiple cultures that weave it together. Born in Congo, in Central Africa, she traveled a lot, lived in many countries before settling nine years ago in Quebec.

In 2018, giving way to an increasingly powerful need to invest in a meaningful project that tells her story, she decided to create her own business, in parallel with her salaried activity.

Kisina Déco's mission is to create a bridge between Africa and the West through the manufacturing and marketing of high quality African-inspired home decor items. “We see a lot of made in China, made in Bangladesh, but very few products made in Africa. However, we have a culture, a know-how that we can export and promote within fair trade relations ".

The realization of this project, spread over three years, was not easy. Writing a business plan and finding financing were delicate steps. “Being an employee was a drag, my situation did not meet any criteria. In addition, the African dimension of my project did not seem attractive to me ”.

It was ultimately with Futurpreneur that Prima found the support she needed. In 2018, she was one of the first women entrepreneurs to benefit from Futurpreneur's Part-Time Enterprise program, sponsored by TD Bank Group.

A year later, with the help of her sister living in Senegal, Prima launched a first collection of decorative cushions, available online. The covers, handcrafted in Senegal by local artisans, are sent to Prima which takes care of their filling, marketing and delivery to customers.

Since the creation of his company, Prima has noticed a growing interest in its products. Its current difficulty is to convert this craze into actual sales. Keeping a salaried job is therefore an advantage. She can thus deploy her project at her own pace but also face the vagaries of entrepreneurship, such as the current Covid 19 crisis ...

By suspending the holding of trade shows and other networking events, this crisis has considerably hampered the business development of Kisina Déco. In addition to the support of those close to him, Prima was able to keep his business afloat thanks to the help of Futurpreneur (who offered his clients reimbursement coverage for their loans for 6 months).

To adapt to this new reality, Prima has revised its communication strategy; now more active on social networks, she is committed to increasing collaborations, especially with designers. Soon, Kisina Déco products will be available on the free PLÜMERS 3D plan and virtual reality design mobile application!

Ultimately, Prima would like to be able to devote himself full time to his business, expand its offer and make Kisina Déco one of the benchmarks in African-inspired interior decoration!

Article published on September 18, 2020 in the blog Futurpreneur (In French Only

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