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Botanical scientist who turned down job offers to pursue a ‘healthy’ dream

But there are a few exceptions. One of those rare challengers is Noela Arbogast, 27, a botanical scientist at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) who turned down a few job offers to capitalize on building her detox juice business.

While it’s every researcher’s dream to land a fancy job and climb the career ladder soon after graduation, Arbogast decided to follow a completely different career path even after graduating. a Bachelor of Science and Botanical Science in 2021.

Inspired by fitness, health and beauty, she founded ABO Smoothies, a detox juice company that promotes a healthy lifestyle by creating refreshing and healthy twists using locally available fruits like cucumber.

For her, building her business started with a dream of bringing people closer to healthy smoothies and creating juices that were not only nutritious but also tasty.

“For me, this activity was a natural vocation because my other target was consumer health. My goal is not just to make money, but also to touch people’s lives,” she recently said in an interview.

Like many newbies, Arbogast didn’t have that big capital to implement her business idea, but all she had was vision, courage and determination.

“I developed this business idea while I was still on campus and planned to pursue it as soon as I graduated. /-, which was not enough, but I managed to convince my roommate to sell some of the items we were sharing to allow me to raise some capital,” she recounted.

The funds she got were not enough to launch her business idea, so she had to approach her mother and convince her to take out a loan in her name, which she did without hesitation.

“She finally accepted my request and borrowed a loan of 2mn/- to help me achieve my dream without a second thought. I remember I used the money to buy a cheap fridge and blender and also rented a room in Sinza. As a rule, for me it was not just an office. I called it a desk with a bed,” she added.

She said that even before starting the business, she was already financially exhausted, so she had to contact her brother for more financial support.

“When I thought of this business, I didn’t think about the technical aspects, so I found myself spending more money to start it than I had actually planned,” she said. .

Arbogast eventually embarked on the implementation of her business idea and recalls that her first customers were actually her relatives and close friends as she wanted to ensure that her products were of high quality before targeting the general public. .

Based on their feedback and advice, she was able to grasp the art and attract more customers through the ‘word of mouth’ business concept which helped increase her customer base.

“I started by convincing them to try my product. I sold a glass of detox smoothie drink or dietary supplement at 3500/-. Surprisingly they said the taste was good and for me it was a hit. Discovering that my products were unique, my first customers referred me to their friends and that’s how I managed to develop my brand,” she added.

She noted that her business, like any other, is subject to price fluctuations, adding that her income is currently 450,000/- per day thanks to between 20 and 30 permanent clients whom she serves on a monthly basis. permanent, but she is very optimistic that the income will increase over time.

“I have been approached by various companies with better offers but I don’t need a job. My value is more than the salary. I have one dream to fulfill and that is to see my business go from strength to strength. “a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) to a big business. I have to change the world and leave a legacy,” she added.

Asked how her degree shaped her career in business, Arbogast said her BSc in Botanical Sciences had been an important foundation in running her business, adding that she never regretted studying for the same thing.

“With my degree, I never thought that at some point I would be an entrepreneur. It was a very sudden decision. The thing is, life won’t always go your way. With my health product business concept, I think it was good for me to study botanical science,” she said.

She said she had embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign intended to allow her to explore more markets for her business with plans to recruit more employees.

“The activity is not yet at its peak. I have lost and gained clients along the way. My strategy is to keep old customers and attract new ones. I lose clients not necessarily because they are unhappy but because they move or because their interests change,” she said.

As a young entrepreneur, Arbogast believes that with the opportunities available to her, the sky is the limit as she still has a steep learning curve to find scale and efficiency and deliver a great experience.

“I am still young, energetic and focused. I still have time to make mistakes, but that’s not my strategy. Belief and passion are my strategies to make a difference in this world. Life is a marathon and you have to work hard to chart your own path,” she said.

Arbogast is one of many students who have been trained by the University of Dar es Salaam’s Entrepreneurship Center for Innovation (UDIEC) which focuses on imparting practical entrepreneurial skills to students, staff and SMEs in Tanzania.

As part of its efforts to support self-reliance, UDSM hosted the University of Dar es Salaam Entrepreneurship Forum (DUEF) last weekend which aims to build a better future for the younger generation. innovative through entrepreneurship.

According to Dr. Winnie Nguni, the event coordinator, the forum was a platform to connect students with key business agencies including the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), the Registration and Licensing (BRELA), Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) and Tanzania. Development Authority (TanTrade).

Nguni said linking students to online business support services would ensure the sustainability of student start-ups.

“Our mission is to provide the best entrepreneurial skills and an innovative experience to students in our quest for a brighter future generation. We saw there was a gap, so we decided to connect them directly with the agencies through this forum,” she said.

Addressing participants at the forum, BRELA legal adviser, Vicensia Fuko, said it was equally important for young people to formalize their businesses, insisting that the more businesses formalize, the bigger the plate. tax expands.

“Business name registration has been simplified through the Online Registration System (ORS). I strongly encourage people to do so as it not only ensures business security but also visibility,” a- she declared.

Fuko urged Tanzanian entrepreneurs to embrace the philosophy of start small and grow big, adding that they should take advantage of the East African Community (EAC) market by ensuring that their businesses are formalized.

Leah Msaga, TanTrade’s SME development manager, said young entrepreneurs need to commercialize and sustain their business ideas.

“You have to be growth-oriented. Growth-oriented entrepreneurs run businesses with the goal of growing over time,” he said.

“Professionalize the business – you should aim to transition from an owner-run business to a professionally-run business as soon as possible.”