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And that’s how I entered into the public service vehicle market – supplying bus drivers.It was my break into the mass market.” A change in the business model In 2011 a new government came in, and with that new reforms around business registration.
“And for me the biggest business lesson I have learnt so far is the strength of networking and collaboration.
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He bought his main raw material – vegetable oil waste – from local restaurants and hotels in Lusaka and by December had produced his first batch of biodiesel in his backyard.
“The first person to test it was my friend,” recalled Ngoma.
The business sources the jatropha seeds from local farmers and, during harvest season, aggregates around 50 tonnes of the raw material for biofuel production, which mostly supplies Bio Energy Resources Limited in Malawi and Copperbelt Energy Corporation in Zambia.
Developing business model Ngoma said he is still defining Tapera’s business model, but plans to expand its outgrower scheme to grow both the biodiesel and soap production businesses.
And when the airline went under in 2009, he focused all his energy in scaling-up operations.
“During the time I was employed I had made quite a few contacts in the renewable energy industry in Zambia.
This included a change in licensing laws for street hawkers, which made it easier for them to conduct business.
The result was many informal traders started buying the used cooking oil from restaurants to supply low-income households. Supply also became limited, to the point that the used oil stopped being a viable raw material for Ngoma’s biofuel.