Who We Are


Who We Are


African Entrepreneur Collective is a small team of committed individuals from Rwanda, the US, and the UK. 

African Entrepreneur Collective was founded in summer 2012 by social entrepreneurs Julienne Oyler and Sara Leedom, whose experience living and working in Africa convinced them that supporting young entrepreneurs was the most sustainable way to move African nations out of poverty. 

Executive Director Julienne Oyler has an MBA from Yale University and more than 10 years of experience in education and international development. Managing Director Sara Leedom has an MBA for Oxford’s Said Business School and 15 years experience growing and managing social impact organizations. Both have lived and travelled extensively throughout Africa. 


  • All problems in Africa have solutions that already exist on the continent.
  • African entrepreneurs will transform their continent.
  • Be inspired and be inspiring.
  • Strive to do the easy things perfectly and the hard things thoughtfully.
  • We are all in.
  • We won't do this alone.
  • We are serious.
  • We eat goat. While strange to some, "We eat goat" symbolizes many things. It means we eat together, we celebrate success together, and in times of difficulty, we come together and support each other.

AEC Annual Report 2016

AEC’s 2016 annual report, "A Year of Inclusive Growth" highlights our work to support talented African entrepreneurs across a range of circumstances. At AEC, we have worked with more than 250 entrepreneurs across Rwanda and Tanzania, and have launched programs to support hundreds more Burundian and Congolese refugee entrepreneurs as well.  This report shares updates on our organization, model, and finances, as well as the personal stories of how entrepreneurship development has propelled them to achieve incredible milestones and create almost 3000 new jobs.  

Read below our annual report to learn more about our work and impact.



press about us

Those working in the field are trying several things: Effective accelerators that help make businesses investment-ready, blended finance that allows public or charity funds to de-risk and unlock private capital, and work to build out a system with additional support for these companies.
— Devex




AEC is proud to work with local partners to enhance entrepreneurship in Africa.