Germaine & Mathelde: BDC Graduates Advancing Entrepreneurship in Rwanda and Beyond

Date & Timestamp : NOV 2012

Posted : Jason Benedict, 08 November 2012

A couple of years ago, RCE started the Rwanda Business Development Center (BDC) in Kigali, Rwanda as a way to help Rwandan entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.  One of the serendipitous outcomes of the BDC is the number of our graduates who are paying it forward by advancing entrepreneurship even further in some way.  Without ever having this as a formal goal, the BDC has been an incubator and accelerator of these efforts.  Below is a brief summary of two students’ efforts:

Germaine (Cohort 1), a 27 yr. old genocide survivor who now employs five seamstresses in Afri-Bag, her designer hand-bag company.  a serial entrepreneur in her own right, is working in business development for a venture capital firm.  She co-founded the “Generation Rwanda Entrepreneurship Club” which is focused on promoting entrepreneurship with survivors of the Rwandan genocide.  She said, “Thank you so much BDC, the knowledge I got from the training is the main thing contributing to what I am doing now!  I am able to perform well [in business development and entrepreneurship] even though I am a medical person [by training].”

Mathelde Umurerwa

(Cohort 2) – Mathelde has been married for 17 years and is a mother of 8 children. She is a born again Christian and is a deacon at the Restoration Church. She has a Diploma in Nursing and has worked with the FAV NGO, Relief Rwanda. She now works with the Jireh Business training center as the in-charge of the health and nutrition program.

She initiated a program of basket – making “Basket Agaseke” by mothers of poor children to have an income generating activity. Her goal is to serve God and continue her studies. BUSINESS IDEA: Supply & home delivery company.

Mathelde was one of the 29 entrepreneurs studying at the Rwanda Business Development Center, Spring 2011. She now owns and operates a food service company.  In addition to this, she and her husband run a ministry called Jireh Center that helps widows and poor mothers provide better nutrition to their children through nutrition training.  They have also started providing job training and micro-enterprise skills training to these disadvantaged women.

Hear more about Mathelde’s inspiring story and path to success, here: 

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