Post by Sylvere Mwizerwa, Business Development Officer, SHE Rwanda
I would like to first express my words of thanks to Barry and Dolly Segal and their family for their support of SHE and sub-Saharan Africa initiatives.
The Segal Family Foundation’s annual conference was wonderful and unique. I learned the best and polite ways to ask professional questions in front of a crowd of people with different backgrounds. The conference helped me to grow as a person!
I met many like-minded people that do similar work that we do. Michael Wilkerson, the CEO of Tugende, a moto transportation company in Uganda, shared helpful advice on how to approach governments when it comes to reducing taxes and forming public-private partnerships.
For example, Dr. Laura Stachel from We Care Solar, a social enterprise that distribute solar boxes to countries in Africa and Asia, personally taught me how she was able to form successful partnerships with government institutions. We Care Solar has partnerships with Ministries of Health and Ministries of Education which has helped them to distribute their products to hospitals and clinics at a lower price. Her model is amazing and is very similar to ours.
As the Business Development Officer, I am focused on reducing our supply chain and production costs. It was great to therefore meet Robina Sarah Naluwooza from Set Her Free from Uganda who recommended to potential new suppliers. This will help SHE Rwanda to drive down our costs during our operations.
The speeches, plenary sessions and lunch table discussions were really good opportunities to share our thoughts and discuss in large the challenges that we are facing and the way to solve these. I have formed a strong network among all types of social entrepreneurs.