Two years in, now everyone else knows they can too.
Walking around Goma, Christian Mbuzukongira Maseleri frequently noticed cracks in buildings across the city. Occasionally, these buildings collapse or fires break out. The seismic nature of the city only made things worse, with earthquakes often rendering houses uninhabitable. With a passion for engineering, young Christian was determined to change the status quo. He believed he could find a way to construct buildings better, safer, cheaper, and more sustainably, for a future where everyone could live and work in places where they feel safe and comfortable.
With this dream, he finished his studies in civil engineering in 2020. Soon after, he started his engineering startup La nouvelle technologie du Congo (NTC), aiming to fix poor domestic and industrial installations that led to the frequent damage around Goma. However, he soon discovered that passion and professional knowledge in engineering were not enough to build a successful business – NTC lacked everything from funding and business expertise to networking opportunities. Despite his efforts, the business was struggling. The small startup had no office, five employees, and two ongoing projects barely sustaining its survival.
While looking for ideas on how to grow the company, Christian came across the program HUB Un Jour Nouveau. In partnership with Eastern Congo Initiative, the program offers valuable business tools, knowledge, and opportunities to help small-to-medium enterprises survive and thrive. Being one of the 35 entrepreneurs in his cohort, Christian received entrepreneurship training for 12 months within the incubator. During this experience, he learned to structure and manage his business while receiving much-needed technical and financial support vital for NTC’s growth.
Currently, NTC has 85 permanent staff and is serving over 500,000 people across the South and North Kivu regions.
Indeed, the once-startup is now gaining momentum and receiving projects across eastern DRC. Following several projects with power companies in Nyanzale and Bambo, NTC expanded to six different electrical sites in Goma, Masisi, Mwenga, and Walikale, as well as two projects in Rutshuru. Their reputation of superb work quality while maintaining cost-effectiveness soon spread across the region. Numerous individual and commercial customers contacted NTC hoping to correct their unsafe and unstable structures. Currently, NTC has 85 permanent staff and is serving over 500,000 people across the South and North Kivu regions.
“What matters more is that we didn’t give up during tough times.”– Managing Director Christian Mbuzukongira Maseleri
Seeing the happiness on his customers’ faces, Christian reminisced about the journey of the company. “We fought through the hardships and obstacles that came our way,” he said, “what matters more is that we didn’t give up during tough times.” Indeed, standing in front of his office, with his coworkers by his side, he couldn’t be more proud.