Chiyanika Nakasamu: Empowering Rural Resiliences Journey from Charcoal to Connectivity

August 21, 2023

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and your experience.

Chiyanika Nakasamu is a social entrepreneur and a finance professional with a bachelor’s degree in Banking & Finance from Copperbelt University. He has 4 years of experience in finance and project development roles, tax compliance, grant proposal writing, and project management. He is the founder of Fourth Line Limited, where he advocates for the implementation of nature-based solutions to enhance connectivity, ecosystem resilience, sustainable livelihoods, and food security in rural communities, with a special focus on beekeeping and financial inclusion through a digital platform called Pollen. He was raised in one of the impoverished communities of Zambia. His family couldn’t afford most basic needs and they mainly survived on charcoal business as farming was expensive and yielded very little produces. It was difficult to complete formal education in this environment as most families failed to educate their children. However, he was fortunate to have completed his education in a challenging circumstance. This was achieved through income from charcoal burning which was used to support his education at the expense of nature and the environment. This environment motivated and influenced him to pursue a program in college that offered the skills and knowledge he needed to give back to his community through implementing various livelihood initiatives. He has a vision of creating digitally connected and sustainable communities free from pangs of poverty. 


Please describe your company story. What led you to start your social business? How did you come up with the idea to start your social business? 

Having experienced a tough childhood upbringing and first-hand experience of massive deforestation and charcoal burning, all due to high poverty levels. I wanted to play a part in fighting this scourge. I collaborated with like-minded individuals and my childhood friend to start a social business with a special focus on beekeeping and financial inclusion. The aim of the business was to train households in sustainable forest use through beekeeping and honey production and financial literacy. 


What is the main challenge you want to solve?

60% of the Zambian population lives below the poverty line. This forces women and youth to engage in economic activities like burning charcoal in destructive and unsustainable farming practices. 


How did you first hear about the social business concept? When did you realize you were leading a social business?

From the onset, I knew my approach to business was different but I didn’t know that I was promoting a social business concept. After conducting some research, I came to understand the social business concept and model.


What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? 

What I enjoy the most is creating initiatives that solve real-world problems, and see them impacting people’s lives.


What is the most important lesson you learned in your journey as a social entrepreneur so far?

Social entrepreneurship is hard! I learned that in this journey, you have to persevere and continue to fight for what you think is good for society. 


How did you hear about the Y&Y Fellowship Program?

Facebook and website.


What motivated you to apply?

So that I can refine my business model, understand important aspects of social entrepreneurship, and support to launch my initiative.


How has your journey as a Y&Y Fellow been so far?

It has been wonderful. Learned a lot and interacted with like-minded social entrepreneurs.


Why is it important to have the support of a mentor?

It is important because you have someone to talk to when hitting a brick wall and seek guidance on things you don’t know or aren’t sure of.


What advice would you give to a young person that is starting a social business?

Do not start if you want to do it for funny. Have a real motive that is rooted in a problem you are trying to solve. And they have to be ready to walk a lonely path and be defined by determination and perseverance.


What advice would you give to someone considering applying to the Y&Y Fellowship Program?

It is a good program that young social entrepreneurs should try out.

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