Posts Tagged 'Rwanda'

Teach a Woman to Fish & Go Global, and You’ll Feed Her & Her Business for a Lifetime

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Everyone knows the classic adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

But wegg® knows, “Give a woman a fish, and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish and go global, and you feed her and her business for a lifetime.” This idea is the essence of wegg®’s mission: “to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global, so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.”

Our goal as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is to teach the women entrepreneurs of the world how to take their businesses global, and we are always thrilled to hear about the triumphs of women entrepreneurs around the world. Recently, we read a New York Times article covering the reform of Rwanda’s fishing industry, from an exclusively male world, to a community of women entrepreneurs. Author Shannon Sims describes the change,

“The intense physical work and danger that comes with fishing on Lake Kivu, along with reinforcement from traditional gender roles, kept women from fishing for generations, tending to backyard farms instead. But in post-genocide Rwanda, that seems to be changing. Today, women form an essential part of the national market for Lake Kivu fish. Besides fishing on the lake at night, women also gather along the shores in the early morning to buy the fish the fisherwomen deliver. They then haul those fish home to their small villages, or sell the fish to cooperatives.”

This newfound emphasis of women on the business side of Rwanda’s fish economy has inspired the development of Projet Pêche, a fishing cooperative made up of 87 women, in Kibuye, a town along the banks of Lake Kivu. This collective has had a supremely positive impact on the lives of Rwandan women. Just listen to one woman, Bonifrida Mukabideri’s, account,

“A lot of women have used the cooperatives to fight poverty. Here in Rwanda we now have the idea that women and men can do every job…Now a woman can say: ‘I can build a house by myself. I can look after my family properly. And even if my husband dies, we can live a better life.’”

wegg® would love to help global women entrepreneurs like Mukabideri feed themselves, their families, and their communities for a lifetime…by fostering an expanding global business that thrives for generations. For more information on the resources wegg® has to offer women entrepreneurs, check out our education page.

 

Why Are There So Few Women Entrepreneurs in Rwanda?

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A 2014 census report conducted by the National Institute of Statistics in Rwanda,  revealed that only 26.8 percent of sole proprietorship establishments are owned by women, compared to 73.2 percent owned by men.

What are the reasons for this imbalance?

In Donah Mbabazi’s article for “The New Times,” she shares a telling quote from the first Vice Chairperson of the Private Sector Federation Chamber for Women, Sarah Kirenga. Kirenga speaks to the challenges that Rwandan women, and all women, can face when it comes to business:
“The number one challenge women in business face is the fear of failure. Failure is a very real possibility in any business venture, but when it comes to women in business; fear to fail becomes a great concern to growing the business, hence, women are afraid to take up big risks. I believe you need to have massive failure to have massive success, you may need 100 ‘nos’ to get one ‘yes,’ but that one ‘yes’ will make you more successful tomorrow than you were today.”

Further in the article, the CEO of the Rwandan stock exchange, Pierre-Celestin Rwabukumba, cites Rwanda’s social climate as a cause for the lack of female participation in business: “It’s because of the general patriarchal kind of environment we have been living in for decades. Business doesn’t change because it is done in the same society.”

This poses an interesting question: Do social norms surrounding gender equality have to change in order for patterns in business to evolve? Or would change in entrepreneurship affect society? What do you think roadblocks women from achieving their full potential as entrepreneurs? What can women do for themselves to get in the game?

Read Mbabazi’s article, and her account of some solutions to the inequity in Rwandan business, here.

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Why go global?  How do you start?  Where can you find customers?  How do you get paid?  Find out these answers and learn other best-kept secrets to expanding a business globally. 

JOIN us for our first weggchat™ (#weggchat) Wednesday, August 8 from 11:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. (noon) Central time on Take Your Business Global! and facilitated by Laurel Delaney, President of WEGG and founder of GlobeTrade.com.  Laurel will field questions and add insights on how to take a business global.  Small business owners can join the conversation by using the hashtag #weggchat to chime in with questions and answers.

Event is free of charge but you must use tchat.io or twubs.com to follow the conversation using the hashtag #weggchat.  See you there!
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Peace Through Worldwide Business

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Times are tough for many American entrepreneurs but not so tough that we can’t take time out to help those who are less fortunate in other parts of the world.

Take June Ressler, CEO of Cenergy, starting this week, Ressler will host a young Afghan businesswoman, Asma Ataie (pictured), as part of a business training program called Peace Through Business, which aims to educate and support female entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda.

Ataie, 23, is the youngest of the program’s 30 participants this year, and the owner of a small Afghan business development firm. Ressler spoke about the program, what she hopes to teach Ataie, and what she hopes to gain from mentoring.

Read the excerpts here.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney


WEGG Mission

Our mission is to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.


Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN/Tax ID #47-2956522.

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