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Male Entrepreneur Spurs Gender Equality in Rwanda through His New Fresh Food Home Delivery Idea

NEWS: PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: MARLA GITTERMAN
212-696-9696
race@bpeace.org
www.bpeace.org

Male Entrepreneur Spurs Gender Equality in Rwanda through His New Fresh Food Home Delivery Idea

$15 Is a Vote for Hope for Rwanda Women and His Business

www.bpeace.org/vote

April 8, 2010, New York— Rwanda is a nation led by women. Women comprise 55% of the country’s workforce, own roughly 40% of businesses and head 1/3 of all households . This gender gap is one effect of the Rwandan Genocide, which began 16 years ago, April 7, 1994.
Throughout Rwanda’s rebuilding process, it is the women who have taken the charge. "Rwanda's economy has risen up from the genocide and prospered greatly on the backs of our women...Bringing women out of the home and fields has been essential to our rebuilding. In that process, Rwanda has changed forever…We are becoming a nation that understands that there are huge financial benefits to equality.” --Agnes Matilda Kalibata, Rwanda Minister Agriculture.
As Rwandan women advance in the workforce, their time is increasingly divided between traditional homemaking duties and their new business obligations. One young Rwandan male entrepreneur recognizes both the vital role these women play and the challenges they face in balancing these responsibilities. Hervé Debarego’s dream is to support these women with his own new business and a U.S. non-profit organization is helping him raise the seed capital he needs.
Hervé is one of six finalists in the Bpeace (Business Council for Peace) Race to Innovation, where Rwanda and Afghan entrepreneurs are vying for seed capital. His business idea is a fresh produce delivery service. Beyond the obvious convenience, Hervé’s delivery service will create a significant change in Kigali (Rwanda’s capital city), providing stable paying jobs to women who currently sell fruit in the streets. In addition, women utilizing his services will no longer spend hours in the markets shopping for the freshest and least expensive foods; allowing them more time after work to be at home with their families.
Every urban American can relate to the timesaving benefits of fresh food delivered right to their doorstep. In a country like Rwanda where 22% of households are food insecure and over 50% of children are chronically malnourished , increasing access to inexpensive, fresh nutrition is more than a luxury--it is a life-saving initiative. And providing sustainable employment to Rwanda female street vendors is doubly so.
By providing sustainable employment to women, Hervé will be empowering the gender proven to most likely reinvest their earnings in family, community and business development. By empowering Hervé’s business through the Race to Innovation, online voters will be empowering Rwanda’s women.

Online voting is the final chapter in Bpeace’s Race to Innovation. Through their “$15 is a Vote for Hope” campaign, Bpeace hopes to raise $10,000 in seed or expansion capital for each of the six finalists. The winner will additionally receive a trip to the U.S. to meet with experts in their industry.

To vote for Hervé visit bpeace.org/vote where you can also watch his pitch video and read a brief commentary by his Bpeace pro-bono business adviser, Teri Leavens, business development associate, Weber Shandwick.

About Bpeace
Bpeace has been assisting Rwandan entrepreneurs since 2003.

Bpeace believes the path to peace is lined with jobs. We work with entrepreneurs in conflict-affected countries to scale their businesses, create significant employment for all, and expand the economic power of women. More jobs mean less violence.®

Bpeace is a non-profit coalition of business professionals. Bpeace members offer access to expertise, technical assistance, networks and proven methodologies to help Fast Runners expand their businesses, increase profitability, create new employment, retain and attract customers, and access markets and capital.

Bpeace tailors a one to three year investment in each entrepreneur—a mix of consulting, training, mentoring, out-of-country apprenticeships and business site visits, employee technical training, equipment, technology, branding and marketing, and networking opportunities.

Related Links
Bpeace.org/vote
Bpeace.org
Bpeace Twitter Feed
Bpeace Facebook page

For More Information:

Email: race@bpeace.org

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