Feature:How Peace Through Business has empowered Rwandan women

The Peace Through business Alumnae Association was launched on November 18th, 2011 at Christ Church Hall in Gacuriro.  During the launch Rwandan women entrepreneurs shared their experiences on how the Peace Through Business (PTB) course has made them become successful in entrepreneurship ventures. 
Deliveries attended by skilled Health Workers are good for safe motherhood.The New Times / File
Deliveries attended by skilled Health Workers are good for safe motherhood.The New Times / File

The Peace Through business Alumnae Association was launched on November 18th, 2011 at Christ Church Hall in Gacuriro.

During the launch Rwandan women entrepreneurs shared their experiences on how the Peace Through Business (PTB) course has made them become successful in entrepreneurship ventures. 

Since PTB is an association that aims at empowering Rwandan women, it was necessary to establish a committee that would enhance advocacy, training and fundraising to empower business women.

In an interview with Immy Kamarade, President, Chamber of Women Entrepreneurship in the Private Sector Federation (PSF) of Rwanda, said that the trainings on business leadership are done within the country to benefit Rwandan women entrepreneurs.

“Thirty women are trained annually and fifteen are chosen for advanced leadership training in the United States of America which is equally important. This training is an eye opener and when these women comeback, they are so excited to share their knowledge with friends and their businesses have become successful,” Kamarade explained.

She further adds that she also attained the training in 2009, when PTB first begun. The training helps women to network and comes with tremendous benefits along the way.

“In this network, we are like sisters, there is that very important connection created thus improving our business management and ventures. Its something that gives positive externalities,” Kamarade said.

Women attending a PTB course are trained on basic business skills in a period of eight weeks.  A lot of emphasis is put on developing an in-depth business plan.

Saudah Nalule, Owner of Saloon Essentials and Spa Soul-Space, says she credits the PTB trainings for teaching her to think big.

“I can tap into other businesses in and out of Rwanda and sell my services world wide. I do not have to limit my market to Rwanda; I have made connections with clients in Europe and USA and whenever they come to Rwanda they know where to go for a relaxation treat,” Nalule said.

Akaliza Gara, the owner of Shaking Sun, an ICT company and member of the PTB Alumnae Association explains how the training helped her attain financial discipline while she was developing her business. 

“Before the Peace Through Business training, the area in my business I avoided was the finances. Every time I had to look through the ledgers and balance sheets, I would literally fall sick, I got migrains and fatigue,” she said.

“Currently, I have a positive attitude towards financial discipline. Even though I have hired a professional accountant, I have no trouble organising my ledger books,” Gara explained.

The 25-year-old says she was greatly empowered and wishes to passes on the skills she attained to other young women. 

 ‘Shaking Sun’ is a Multimedia firm that promotes the use of innovative technology such as making films, designing games and websites.

Rose Busingye, the owner of Creations of Rosa, a clothing retail shop said that her passion is to see women look great and feel happy about their appearance. This is what motivates her in her business.

“I started my business two and a half years ago, and I have seen it grow. Yet there were times when I didn’t know what was happening. With the Peace Through Business training, stories of other women entrepreneurs encouraged me to learn and revive my business. I picked a leaf from their experience and started to grow,” Rose expresses.

 The next PTB training will start in January through March, 2012.

Women will be trained in different business disciplines including marketing their products and services through newsletters and media coverage.

Doreen.umutesi@newtimes.co.rw

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