(6 pages of text)
In May 2013, the owner of Sawdust, Co., a small woodworking business outside Kigali, Rwanda, had to decide on a new strategic direction for his company while not compromising its past success. He had started the company in 2007 with the goal of revolutionizing the sawdust industry in his country while also promoting social welfare in the region by offering employment to both survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 genocide. Although the company has achieved modest profits, he is eager to do more. However, some tough decisions lie ahead. He can choose to go alone and take out bank loans to invest in the three lines of machinery needed to expand the business; he can engage in a joint venture in which he will have to give up an equity stake in return for the required capital; or he can follow the status quo. How can he achieve top line revenue growth, remain profitable and socially responsible and withstand international competition?
This case is suitable at the undergraduate level, for courses in entrepreneurship; entry-level finance courses looking at investment strategies and expansion; and courses examining social enterprises and their operations. Its objective is to determine the most optimal expansion strategy for a small business enterprise in Rwanda, considering financial constraints and a primitive industry.
Rwanda, Small, 2013
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