From student to entrepreneur

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Marius Kamugisha is a 2016 graduate at the University of Rwanda, College of Architecture who joined his classmates to design a website.

At only 24 years old, Kamugisha is determined to build a successful business and apply the skills he acquired from the school. He talked to The Kaminuza Star’s reporter, Fiona Muthoni, and shared his ambition and dreams.

What is the name of your company?
”My company is Artlair Ltd, an innovative design company based in Kigali. We are a communication agency that uses storytelling as the main tool of communication and our professional designer and artist teams aim to communicate creative ideas through lively expression, shining creativity and unique originality.”

When did you start the company?
”We started the communication agency in 2015 when we were still in our third year at university.”

Who did you start the business with?
”I work with two of my classmates, Robert Gatsinzi, Serge Muhizi and also Christian Rwabahizi who is at the University of Southern New Hampshire majoring in communication.”

What motivated you to start the company?
”There are two major factors that motivated us. Firstly, Gatsinzi, Muhinzi and I went for an internship when we were still at university and we worked together in various projects that led us to discover that we share the same passion in design and storytelling. One day I read a story criticizing university graduates and we committed to be the solution to the community applying the acquired skills. Our target was to serve the people and help organizations craft their stories through publications, reports, journals, books among others.”

What skills did you learn at University that were helpful in starting the company?
”We acquired several skills including graphic design, film and video animation, photography, illustration and online platform design like web design. We use those skills daily at our company.”

What are the challenges that you faced when you started your company and how did you overcome them?
”The most challenging was to gain credibility in the eyes of potential clients but we manage this proving better service delivery to any client who came to us. We also let our actions speak louder so that everyone sees our professionalism. As a part of our work, we are developing the book entitled, The Legend of Sibo.”

Unemployment in Rwanda is rising, what advise do you have for the unemployed graduates?
”I advise any graduate to think beyond and strive for creating jobs. There are many opportunities for us. However, they are visible to those who have the eyes to find solutions themselves.”

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