Shaping business in the land of thousand hills

Yes, you heard it right, GW MBA‘s are working with organizations to directly impact the lives of people in Rwanda – popularly known as the land of thousand hills in this year’s CAP.

Rwanda – a post conflict country based predominantly on agriculture is on path of progress with its 20-20 vision of socio-economic development. The country in need of effective intervention has been progressing after a wide range of commercial entities, financial institutions and agricultural initiatives were set up by entrepreneurs and development agencies to uplift the country from the long standing stigma of genocide.

To further this mission and aligning itself with the idea of global responsibility, GWSB has chosen Rwanda as one of its CAP destinations for GMBA 2013 batch. The diverse projects entail MBA students to come forward with innovative ideas to help these institutions establish themselves in the fore-front of market and society.  A group of students working with Rwanda Business Development Fund are identifying industrial sectors for impact investments to turn around the economy. Two other groups are working with Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), the largest microfinance bank in Rwanda to asses market needs and work out strategy for branchless banking.

A team which includes stalwart like Daniel Kombucha-man is working on most unique project of entire CAP – promoting milk quality testing in Rwanda. Speculations are rife that “Kombucha” is going to create foothold in Rwandan eateries earlier than DC restaurants and even a brewery in Kigali is on the cards 🙂

The Rwanda CAP has also witnessed amazing speakers like Ms. Barbara Keating who shared her experiences in Africa and spoke in detail about rationale and thought process of African people and the need of inter-cultural empathy for a real learning experience. Similarly Mr. David Strelneck – Senior Advisor, Ashoka emphasized that initiatives like CAP can be instrumental in evolution of innovative ideas – through interaction of diverse group of people working in a unique environment and addressing world’s most calling problems.

Most of us would be traveling to Africa for the first time and I can sense the budding excitement to explore a new world beyond our realms. We will get a sneak peek from my classmates and their adventurous plans for Kigali in the next post!!

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