Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18th, Monday...USAID Meeting.

I was called to a meeting with Special Advisor to US AID Administrator, Dr. Maura O'Neil. Her business card also showed "Chief Innovation Officer." I liked the title. The purpose was to discuss how to facilitate women entrepreneurship in Rwanda. I realized that I was the only man among seven invitees.

I suppose I was invited to bring a financial perspective to the topic as the head of a bank of which 90% of its clients are women.

Among many, I appreciated meeting two ladies who were exemplary women entrepreneurs in Rwanda and whom I wanted to get connected with.

One was Immy who currently owns and manages Karisimbi Coffee. She now owns two coffee washing stations and exports all fully washed coffee. She studied business for her bachelor's and master's degree. She was quite an intellectual woman. A Korean coffee company has been looking for a reliable Rwandan coffee supplier. We agreed to follow up.

The other was Zalfut who started a college that is now educating 2,200 students on nothing but tourism. The school name is Rwanda Tourism University College, aptly. UOB is now introducing a series of EduFinance loans for students and RTUC would be a wonderful test school. We agreed to follow up.

It is encouraging to see that Rwanda is promoting gender equality not just verbally but also practically. May the women potential and power be fully developed and blossomed! - Jeffrey

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