These businesswomen are coming to the USA to partake in our “Business Boot Camp” at Northwood University in Texas and the International Women’s Economic Summit at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.
NAME: Josephine NYEBAZA
BUSINESS: Intra Cargo, LTD
Abandoned at seventeen after the death of her mother, Josephine persevered through hard work and determination. Josephine was able to finish school through a scholarship by the school administration, and continued on to college where she received a degree in Finance. Professionally, she gained managerial experience while holding the positions of Managing Director of Intra Cargo, Ltd (2008); the 2nd Vice–chairperson of Rwanda Freight Forwarders’ Association (ADR); and trainer in ADR Training Institute.
NAME: Eva GARA
BUSINESS: The Point Business Centre
Eva is always ready to take up new challenges. Her personal experiences with relocation combined with her entrepreneurial spirit inspired her to run Point Business Center, an event planning company. One of her favorite parts of her job is getting to know all the new people who walk through the doors.
NAME: Teta ISIBO
BUSINESS: Inzuki Designs
As Teta’s friends started placing orders for her designs , Teta recognized the business potential of her creations. Rwanda has always inspired her, so it was only logical she opened a business designing and producing Rwandan products Teta has always had a special interest in design.
NAME: Grace MBABAZI MULINDA
BUSINESS: RoyalLinks, LTD
Grace is a mother of 5 children, two of which are foster children. She is passionate about the rehabilitation of Rwanda: she serves on the board of Rwanda Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs; is a member of the advocacy committee for Eastern Africa Women Exchange Network (EAWEExN); and serves as Vice President for the Private Sector Federation at Gikondo District.
NAME: Anne RUGEGE
BUSINESS: Family Fun Entertainment In Rwanda
Anne was determined to work in the private sector after sacrificing much quality family time to work long hours in order to meet the requirements of her Higher Education financial aid administration job in America .Channeling her longing for her family and seeing a niche to be filled, Anne established Family Fun which provides entertainment to young families, family reunions, and corporate Family Days.
NAME: Josephine UWINEZA
BUSINESS: Flamingo Restaurant and Fina’s Freshings
Josephine spent much of her young life abroad, away from turmoil in Rwanda. In 1998 she was finally able to return to Rwanda and she joined the hospitality industry where she opened Flamingo, the first Chinese restaurant in Kigali. In addition to her restaurant, Josephine has launched an agricultural company.
NAME: Amani KALISA
BUSINESS: Amani K. Fashion Creations
After completing high school, Amani was granted a scholarship by the Rwandan government to pursue studies in India at Bangalore University, in the field of fashion design. In the beginning, Amani worked out of her home using the sewing machine her mother bought her. As time went on, customers began to come by and little by little word of her work began to spread. Amani’s fashion house is now well known in Kigali and all over Rwanda.
NAME: Faith KAMUKAMA
BUSINESS: Taste Foods Restaurant
In 1990, Faith lost her father in an accident. His death pushed Faith, aged 16, to take on the financial responsibility of her education. She began sewing mats and selling them at the market to earn revenue for her family. This experience made Faith responsible, independent and not afraid of hard work; all qualities which help her be successful at running a restaurant.
NAME: Colombe Ndutiye
In 2010, Colombe earned a diploma in computer studies and was working as an IT instructor for the Rwandan Workforce Development. She was first inspired by fashion design in Senior Two from a Belgium fashion designer who Colombe knew at the time. From that point, she started drawing a few illustrations of her own. She showcased her first fashion collection in the Rwandan Fashion festival on 5th August 2010 held in the Mille Colline Hotel Kigali.
NAME: Mary GASANA
BUSINESS: JEM FREIGHT FORWARDING AGENCY, LTD.
Mary lost her parents at a very young age and was raised by various relatives. As she watched her older sister struggle to make ends meet and help with Mary’s tuition for secondary school, Mary decided she would learn the skills necessary to be self-employed.
NAME: Joanita KAYONGA
BUSINESS: Eklektik Designs
Joanita was raised by her eldest brother, who did an excellent job in the roles of provider and guardian, helping all siblings to become university graduates and find good employment During her university years, Joanita worked two jobs in telemarketing and customer service for her tuition, rent and daily necessities . She worked as an intern at the IFC World Bank office in Kigali before launching her own fabric business. Joanita has plans to pursue a career in counseling once her business is on more solid footing.
NAME: Hope MBABAZI
BUSINESS: HOBE Enterprises
Hope grew up in Uganda in a family of eight children raised by a single parent. Providing for the family was a struggle for Hope’s mother as she had the dual challenge of supporting a large family in a war torn country. In 2006, Hope graduated with a degree in social science and in the same year started Hobe Enterprises with her husband.
NAME: Jeanine NZEYIMANA
BUSINESS: Magda Cafe
During her work at Red Cross Jeanine dealt with a stressful work environment. Feeling unhappy, Jeanine decided to change careers and become self-employed. Brainstorming with her husband helped Jeanine decide which industry venture into and they decided upon hospitality as it was an area Jeanine was interested in. Magda Café employs 12 employees: 7 men and 5 women. The clientele consists of tourists and people from the embassies and government ministries in the surrounding area.
NAME: Carine BLANCHE
BUSINESS: Hotel Ibis
Since 1942, Carine’s family has owned and managed a hotel in Butare in the south province of Rwanda. Carine lost her mother in the 1994 genocide and Carine took over her role, helping her father manage the hotel. Carine hopes to grow the hotel from a two-star to a five-star location. The part she loves most about her job is providing employment to the local community and helping her family’s economic status.
NAME: Rose Kabuye
BUSINESS: Startech Limited
Rose is a retired Lt. Col and is the highest military woman in the Rwandan Army. In all her work Rose combines political, administrative, management, diplomacy and public relations skills. For the past 20 years of her professional life, she has gathered a lot of experience in Civil Service, Military, Diplomacy, and has been widely involved in grass root mobilization/organization for development activities in Conflict Management, Conflict Resolution, Negotiations, Management and Administration at high levels such as the Mayor of Kigali City, member of parliament, and Chief of State Protocol in Rwanda.