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Meet The New Leadership Academy Class

We are thrilled to welcome the newest class of aspiring leaders, entrepreneurs, and businesswomen to our Leadership Academy! Following a highly successful first semester filled with incredible business innovation, peer-to-peer mentorship & entrepreneurial creativity, we can’t wait for what the next six months have in store. Our second group of 25 students began classes on June 9th, 2015 which kicked off with an orientation and Google Chromebook training session. Since technology use is an integral part of our curriculum (and our students’ ability to access international markets!) we have put that at the forefront of our semester this year to ensure that all of our students start at the same level.

The second week of classes focused on inventory management and cooperative organization – lessons designed to help our partners lay the foundation for successful businesses. During Week 2, we sat down with some of our students (at break-time – they’re busy!) to hear more about their thoughts on the Academy and goals for the future. Here’s what they had to say:

Rebecca Ingabire, Advisor at Agatako Cooperative (25 years old)

“I wanted to enroll in the Leadership Academy for the opportunity to work with other women, build my confidence, and open my mind. Education is important because it will allow me to acquire the knowledge I need to compete in the labor market and grow and develop as a person. Someday, I’d like to open my own mini-market as well as a public speaking club where I can practice my communication skills.”

Therese, Cocoki Cooperative (39 years old)

“As a Student Fellow, I want to help other students in the class learn and also to improve my own knowledge about how to run a business. I’m most excited to learn bookkeeping and computer skills.”

Uwase Agatha, Auditor at Imirasire Cooperative (39 years old)

“I want to participate in the Leadership Academy in order to gain the knowledge needed to effectively perform my duties as an auditor. I am most excited to learn about wealth management and recording financial transactions. Education can help you to become a leader in your cooperative because when you are educated, people have more confidence in you to lead them. I want to become more innovative at making products and be a really good entrepreneur by 2017.”

Leonie Mukarukundo, Vice President of the Hope Cooperative at The Ingenzi Knit Union (36 years old)

“Education is important because it gives you knowledge. It will help me to help my children. My goal for them is to attend school through the university level and get the education that I did not have the chance to receive.” 

Chantal Nyirambali, President of Imirasire Cooperative (50 years old)

“I am most excited to learn about marketing and leadership. Education is important because it helps you to get advanced knowledge and allows you to grow. My goal is to be able to fully provide for my family and be a role model to women in my community.”

Aren’t these women just amazing?! We certainly think so! Stay tuned for more insider info throughout the semester on our partners’ progress in and outside of the classroom – there will surely be much to share!

The Leadership Academy is generously supported by the Ann B. Zeis Scholarship Fund.

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