meet blandine

Blandine has created Rwanda’s only magazine targeting pregnant women and mothers, and one of the only magazine specifically for women and girls in the local language.

Blandine is the Managing Director of Cosmos Magazine, a magazine that provides parenting resources and maternal health advice in three different languages for Rwanda’s women and mothers. Though women aged 15-40 make up nearly half of Rwanda’s female population, few magazines or educational resources directly serve that demographic – Blandine saw the gap in services, and decided to fill it.

The magazine covers the psychological and practical aspects of raising a child and the emotional issues that face mothers. Information and advice on parenting, child care, children’s education and nutrition are all issues that are tackled in articles in English, French and Kinyarwanda. Blandine was recently nominated for the Rwandan Youth and Business Excellence Awards for her work so far on Cosmos.

 

meet christine

After several years of researching the health benefits of cayenne pepper, Christine Rukera founded her own company, CF-Premium.

Christine is passionate about educating consumers on how natural products can improve health. Through her research, she discovered that most of the cayenne pepper on the market lacked natural health benefits due to the way it is processed.

She sought to create a higher quality product by sun drying her peppers rather than using a mechanical dryer, preserving the highest capsicum level and maximizing health benefits.

AEC’s accelerator Inkomoko helped Christine by developing a business plan with a clear strategy to start her business and matched her with a mentor with 14 years of expertise in finance and management. The mentor advised Christine on all aspects of her business, including marketing, branding and finances. Since meeting with her mentor, Christine has had two crops of peppers harvested and produced 5,000 bottles of grounded cayenne pepper.

 

meet jean bosco

Jean Bosco and his partner founded HPS&B because they saw the need to expand the rice sector in Rwanda to benefit local farmers and consumers.

Rwanda is not self-sufficient in its production of rice, and faces a deficit of home-grown rice each year. Rwanda imports rice from Tanzania, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and China; thus Jean Bosco found an opportunity to expand the supply of home-grown rice for Rwanda. 

Despite many successes, Jean Bosco still comes up against many of the obstacles that young entrepreneurs face every day in Rwanda. Issues of financial management, uncertain environments, poor infrastructure, managing supply chains and distribution networks, finding good staff are all issues that are common when creating a new business in Rwanda. 

With AEC’s help, Jean Bosco has accessed three cycles of loans and intensive training, which are helping his company to thrive even in the uncertain climate.