We have been inspired by the stories of dedication and resilience from the thousands of entrepreneurs across East Africa engaged in AEC Programs.
These are some of their stories
Advisory from AEC and interest-free bank loans – A partnership approach for growth
Roselyne Hategekimana fingers are often red – slightly stained from the flour, powder, and tea bags she produces from the bright red hibiscus plant in Rwanda.
Roselyne is also one of 25 young entrepreneurs who benefited from AEC’s partnership with the Bank of Kigali to support women entrepreneurs in Rwanda to create jobs.
Culturally relevant financial products create new access for Muslim entrepreneurs
Hawo Hersi Abdulle is a refugee living in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya since 2009. Her business provides essential food items to both her fellow refugees and the host community around the camp. Hawo’s business was slowly declining due to financial limitations. She was hoping for a possibility to access financing in line with her beliefs.
African textiles for local clothes and decoration, and exporting to a global market
The 1,000th AEC loan was given to Esperance Mazayire, a Congolese refugee who has been living in the Kiziba Refugee Camp since 1996.
Esperance has been a participant in AEC’s program since 2018, and the training and consulting services have prepared her to take on this loan so that her business can grow.
Refugee entrepreneurs used AEC COVID-19 relief grants as a community lifeline
In 2020, Abdulkadir Isaack Hessen was awarded a $320 COVID-relief grant by AEC in Kenya. The grant not only ensured that his small grocery store could continue providing critical food security in the Kakuma refugee camp, but it also allowed him the stability to rebound and grow.
Young entrepreneurs in the tourism and hospitality industry push beyond COVID-19 limitations
Siloé Café Bistro prides itself on delivering a positive customer experience. Specializing in catering and hospitality, it offers diverse foods & beverages, along with a lively atmosphere. Owner David Catherin has a passion for cooking and loves watching people enjoy his food. David’s hospitality sector was hit hard by COVID-19 lockdowns, but he didn’t sit idly by when Siloé’s doors were shut.
Digital innovation makes Beathe’s remote learning possible
After saving $2,000, Beathe Mukasine opened a boutique in 2015 carrying essential goods serving Rwanda’s Nyamagabe district, one of the poorest areas of the country. Beathe began working with AEC in 2019 to improve her business management skills and better support her family of five.