Celebrating ‘Local’

Yes Run Rwanda is going to be an immense physical challenge, but I’m excited to be taking part in an adventure, which is so much more than just an endurance test. Throughout our month in Rwanda, we’re going to be spending time in almost every region of the country and the route has been carefully planned to bring us into contact with a diverse range of entrepreneurs and their growing businesses, all fuelled by the great work carried out by the African Entrepreneur Collective.

Since launching Run Rwanda, most people have been especially curious about the types of people we’re going to be meeting. Who are these inspiring young entrepreneurs and what kind of enterprises are you going to be visiting?

Well, let’s meet a couple of the AEC entrepreneurs before we even have to think about putting on our Lycra and Sweat Bands.

Haute Baso is a Rwandan-inspired fashion design company run by two entrepreneurs, Linda Mukangoga and Candy Basomingera. They’d spotted the opportunity to sell their unique products internationally, but were surprised by the scale of the local demand they had from within Rwanda. Using mentoring and investment from the AEC, Haute Baso grew their enterprise around a very basic principle of ‘empowering women’ and by building a supply chain that invested in local artisans, they now employ 147 women in Rwanda. They have achieved significant and sustainable local success and now they’re looking for ways to expand. We look forward to meeting Linda, Candy and hopefully some of their growing team over in Rwanda.

www.hautebaso.com

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Specialising in local Rwandan cuisine, Forever Peace Restaurant is situated at the base of the country’s tallest Volcano and will be the starting point of the run. Set up by Esther Ayinkamiye and Julienne Uwihoreye, both graduates in hospitality and entrepreneurship, the restaurant has opened up much needed employment opportunities within their home village. With start-up capital and support from the AECs business development team they’ve achieved early success, employing 5 local women and serving roughly 70 happy customers per day. We’ll be relying on the Forever Peace team to fuel us through the first of our 211 miles in August.

We’ll be shining a light on more inspiring AEC entrepreneurs over the coming months, leading up to Run Rwanda. If you’d like to sponsor John and directly help to fund the impactful work that the AEC do, please clink on the link: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/fundraisers/runrwanda/

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