Friday, October 14, 2011
Our Legacy: The Next Generation (and the generation after that)
Twenty-two year old Patrice was a fountain of business ideas in our first Cohort of the BDC. We were wondering when he would choose just one and start it. Winning the 2011 Africa Innovation Prize (AIP) was the catalyst for his launching Eden Flowers and Business Support Ltd.
The concept of AIP was birthed from a public policy lecture given by President Paul KAGAME at Cambridge University, UK in December 2008. KAGAME’s lecture inspired a team of Cambridge students to start a new venture—Africa Innovation Prize—to stimulate entrepreneurship among university students in Africa.
Patrice didn’t stop with winning the Africa Innovation Prize and starting his horticulture business. He was inspired to extend the competition to high school students as a way to encourage youth entrepreneurship and to build a strong youth-led private sector. With personal funds and modest support from others, Patrice launched a pilot competition in four high schools.
Jason and I just received a letter from Patrice asking us to help with his competition (excerpt below):
We greatly acknowledge various efforts of the Rwanda Business Development Center to support entrepreneurship in Rwanda, and we identified it as one of our greatest stakeholders. We would like to request your support in judging the copies of the competition and selecting the winners, next week preferably between 18-20/10/201.
What a joy to see a young graduate with such vision for his nation. We constantly marvel at the mix of leaders that God has brought to the BDC—established leaders, like Sandrali, Fabrice, and Dona, who are well-known and respected throughout Rwanda; and emerging leaders, like Patrice and others, who will keep the movement going.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Rained On, but not Out
When you don’t have a car, rain is a big deterrent to moving around town. Unfortunately, it rained hard all afternoon today. Since most of our students don’t have cars, only half showed up for class tonight. A few hardy ones braved the elements. Some came on Moto-taxis—that is, they rode on the back of a motorcycle—and arrived looking pretty wet. I pray for better weather Friday. We have a lot of material to cover.