Thursday, February 01, 2007
There's more to come, but...
Lee and Anne are still in Rwanda and have an active schedule of circling back around to most of the associates.
There is more blog to post, so please come back in a day or two.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Tuesday 30th: Dreams do come true
Sylvie’s business is increasing in bookings for conferences and parties. Her branding, Bambino Super City, is not in line with this target audience, but rather with her original idea of serving as an amusement park. Anne gave her tactical advice on increasing her customer base, branding, PR and advertising, which we are sure we will be busy helping her implement on our return. The staff and customer service training we are developing will be of value for her as well as all of our associates. The issue is that they need it now; so we will implement a plan to close the gap until the next mission.
We also discussed the potential for cross marketing and introducing products made by other associates in her gift shop. She especially liked the idea of promoting entertainment and themed evenings, such as Country Music Night (big in Rwanda), Blues Night (yes they love B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters), Reggae (Bob Marley is a God here) and of course Inozzi Dancers and Drumming (hope to have some at our debrief meeting in NYC).
Hospitality - Rwanda Associate Style
We also toured the kitchen, where luncheon preparations were in progress. Fresh vegetables are grown on the premises and everything we sampled tasted great.
Later in the day, the mission team and most of our associates enjoyed a banquet at the terrace restaurant. During our meal, we all conveyed our gratitude and thoughts on the work Bpeace is doing in Rwanda. Sylvie remarked on how we have all bonded as a team. Leiny noted that Bpeace was not about handing out money but importantly knowledge. Speciose David announced he will be joining the Rwanda team, a most welcomed addition.
More of the team head home
Some last minute shopping and packing and we all rushed off to the airport where we were greeted by Languida, Peggy, Pierrette and Monique who came to see Marla, Barbara, Sabra and Stephanie off. We have had a successful mission but it’s not over yet. Lee and Anne are staying until Saturday and will be continuing consult with our associates.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, Jan 29: The Day Started with Party Time
Demonstration with samples donated by SoftSheen Carson in the US.
Since our last mission her business has increased, but she still needs to secure a loan to purchase a truck for deliveries and a larger tent. Owning a truck would substantially reduce the high cost of deliveries and a larger tent would enable her to accommodate requests from potential customers. We are hoping that Bpeace’s new relationship with Fina Bank will enable Speciose to secure a loan to keep her business growing.
The team discussed her current accounts, which includes supplying flowers to the Supreme Court, and how to expand her party rental business through networking and marketing. Speciose was happy to hear that Blanche Weingarten of Party Time, Academy Chair Rental Company in New York (and a pioneer in women owning businesses), will be helping to advise her on how to grow a profitable party rental business.
Speciose’s, partner Alphonsine Muteteri is in New York, as her husband, H.E. Mr. Joseph Nsengimana, was appointed Rwandan Ambassador to the UN. We will be connecting with Alphonsine upon our return.
Speciose sends her love to Loretta, Julia, Manny who were on the last mission.
Jeanne-supporting orphans through education and business
Meanwhile, Marla and Barbara accompanied by Barbara’s cousin David, visited Jeanne and her business plan consultant. They reviewed plans for her beauty school which will be located next door to her salon. It is Jeanne’s plan to focus on teaching orphans for free to be beauty operators during the first year of operation. Then in succeeding years, in addition to orphans, she would like to open up enrollment to paying students. Barbara brought US design information on beauty schools to share with Jeanne and discussed the practice of offering reduced rates to clients when beauty school students provide services.
David Ross of Orphans of Rwanda is researching equipment for Jeanne’s bakery and working out financial arrangements for their partnership. Jean was very excited to meet “cousin” David who is here from Tanzania, where he was climbed Kilimanjaro. His background includes working in Russia developing an Internet cafe and we are hoping he will help Anne and Golde mentor Nadia, by providing technical expertise for the start up of her internet café.
Barbara and ‘cousin’ David (actually her brother-in-law’s brother) visited Orphans of Rwanda and presented them with a generous check from Barbara’s sister. They were joyously welcomed and extremely appreciative of the donation.
The team joined Chris Lundh, CEO of Terraces for lunch— and discussed ways Terracom (the supplier of telephone and Internet service to Rwanda) can partner and support our associates in Rwanda. Anne pulled out our wish list which included supplying free laptops, Internet access and training for our associates, as well as setting up Nadia’s Internet café. Stay tuned as it looks like we have a commitment from Terracom to supply the aforementioned! We will be speaking with Chris next week to develop next steps and a plan to proceed.
Marla and Anne with Brian J. George, US Affairs Officer, discussed the possibility of including our Rwandan associates for consideration of available grants in neighboring countries, which match our mission. Seems Rwanda is not on the radar screen but with the recent acceptance into the East African block, things may change.
Head to Toe--SoftSheen Carson and Essie Nail Polish Product Demo
Lee, Stephanie, Barbara, Marla and Anne went to Jeanne’s salon where we met Brigitte and Harriette to try out SoftSheen Carson products, one of the most popular brands in Rwanda. The results were quite impressive and it is the hope of our salon owner associates that with the help of Bpeace, the products will become more readily available in Rwanda.
Marla took the opportunity to get a pedicure, complete with geranium oil foot massage, while Susan had her nails done with Essie Nail Polish in Fiji (donated by the Essie company in the US). The manicurist loved the quality and Susan loved the results. Nail polish is another product that’s hard to come by on any consistent or cost efficient manner. Rwanda is a wide open for market expansion of quality brands. The demand is certainly here.
Sabra makes the case
Sabra accompanied Pascasie to meetings at the Brewery Distributor and Fina Bank, to assist her in securing the retention of her brewery distributorship and funding. Sabra made the case by emphasizing Pascasie’s strategy for growth in correlation with that of the brewery’s plan for expansion. Looks like another home run for our associate.
In the afternoon, Sabra held financial counsel once again—this time for Esther who is building a daycare center, Speciose and Languida.
David treated us to a lively dinner at Legends, a new art gallery/restaurant which has great views overlooking the city. Dinner was delicious; we had chicken—something that hasn’t been readily available. Thank you, David. We each stated one word that embodied our feelings about this mission, as Marla, Sabra and Stephanie will be heading back home tomorrow. “Productive, Enlightening, Powerful, Awesome, Fun, Transforming and Hopewell,” come to the February 28th (place TBD) Rwanda Mission Debrief in New York to find out who and what’s behind our “one words” and learn more about our progress.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
January 27, Saturday (Ku wa gatandatu)
Traditional huts at Symphrose's BBQ restaurant.
hotel website and marketing materials.
While Sabra and Lee stole away for a visit to the National Museum of Rwanda, Marla and Anne staged photo shots for the hotel’s website (to be prepared by her mentors, Matt and Mary in Australia), brochures and other marketing materials. And, they prepared a customer survey and strategized for business development, marketing and branding. Bpeacers in the New York area will have the opportunity to meet Symphrose at a Bpeace Rwanda Team meeting in April when she will be visiting New York.
Although the hotel is open for business, it’s not completely finished. A second restaurant – BBQ and bar – is not yet finished. It will be a very nice attraction when complete. There is space for a gift shop and business center. Symphrose is waiting for 10 computers to be delivered – four for the hotel and six for the business center. She will be getting wireless connection, a big competitive advantage considering that none of the other hotels in Butare offer wireless service. We advised Symphrose to hire a good IT technician for the inevitable problems.
We spent significant amount of time talking about the hotel’s brand identity. We discussed changing or modifying the name of the hotel – Le Petit Prince – to get rid of the French identity and create a brand image around having an authentic Rwanda experience. We recommended using local crafts to decorate the hotel and naming the hotel restaurants using local names. Symphrose welcomed this idea and relayed a local folktale about the area, which could be useful for the rebranding. We will provide Symphrose with three options for a new name and brand identity from which she can choose. We all agreed it’s important to decide soon before designing marketing materials. We recommended that Symphrose start developing relationships with hotels at the nearby game park as well as hotels and tourist board in Kigali. She asked for help in this area. Later this week, Anne and Richard will accompany Symphrose to a meeting with the tourist board. Once Symphrose sees a sample sales call, she will be better prepared to make sales calls on her own.
Symphrose’s biggest need right now is help in staff training and marketing. For the marketing materials, we collected pictures and information for development of brochures and a website. We would like to find another volunteer hotel consultant interested in helping Symphrose in these two areas
B2P down to the wire
Friday, January 26, 2007
Friday (Ku wa gatanu): Dreams Can Come True
First off, the team of Marla, Barbara, Stephanie and Wendy visited Languida who gleaned several new ideas from the funeral trade journals provided in the Business Inspiration Kit (BIK) assembled by Ray.
Marla, Barbara, Stephanie and Wendy visited Console who has two successful businesses (retail dairy business and a party rental business) and has plans for expansion. Console wants to buy a refrigerated truck so she can control the transport and ensure that she gets the inventory she needs, and it’s fresh. With her own truck, she can also increase volume and develop a good wholesale business. Console has excellent credit and Bpeace is helping her maximize her borrowing power through the relationships we’re building with institutions like Fina Bank. When we asked her about the Bpeace market research training session and if she wanted to create a comment card, she said “Big time." Now perhaps that was embellished in translation, but it seems like she is excited about her new expertise. She ended our session by giving us each a rose. Clearly she has a touch for client appreciation.
Sabra and Lee spent the morning with Constance, Solina, and Francoise. They have all made progress with bookkeeping skills. Not only are they mastering ways to manage their businesses effectively but are – as a result – able to see that they are running profitable businesses and thus able to look into the future with optimism supported by real evidence of their progress.
Having educated herself with books but still yearning to study abroad, Solina is beginning to believe that she can fulfill her dreams to travel abroad and pursue a degree in horticulture in order to expand her expertise and grow her business further. While working with Solina's budget we came to the conclusion that she had a net profit. It was at that point that she realized that her dreams were becoming real possibilities. "You mean my dreams can really come true?" asked Solina. “That’s right, girl,” answered Sabra. That's what Bpeace is all about.
Sharing Joyous Milestones
As we see our associates’ progress in the fulfillment of their goals, today we also had the honor and pleasure to share the milestones of three members of our Bpeace family in Rwanda. Our program manager Richard – together with Rwanda Knits’ Geoffrey and our interpreter Susan – was graduated from the Kigali Institute of Education in its second ever graduating class. Anne had the opportunity to attend the graduation as an honorary family member. We celebrated at lunch at the famed Chez Lando (Google it…) with Richard’s mother, twin brother Ronald and sister Hope and in the evening high atop a Kigali hill with Geoffrey and his family at his new home with relatives and friends who had gathered together for this special occasion. Cari, we passed on your best wishes and love to Geofrey who made special mention of the impact you have made on his life.
Live from Radio Anguilla
We hear it’s a little chilly back in the US but it’s hot and sunny here in Rwanda and in the British West Indies where word of Bpeace mission hit the radio waves today. Host Calvin Bartlett interviewed Sabra for his weekly business program for Radio Anguilla. Sabra discussed the similarities between our Rwandan associates and the women that she trains in Anguilla.
While Sabra discussed these parallels by cell phone from afar, our mission team met with members of the Unity Club, a charitable association of Rwandan women either serving in or married to current and past members of the Rwandan government to explore ways in which Bpeace and the Unity Club can further our shared goals of economic development and general social welfare in Rwanda.
Wendy had another B2P interview today, this time with Auréa and her daughters, Claudia (a/k/a Coco) and Sylvie. Because of discrimination, Auréa was denied the opportunity to go to college. After the genocide, she went back to school and became a lawyer. She’s preparing to start her own practice, where she’ll represent impoverished genocide victims. Auréa says that she became a lawyer so she could avenge the death of her family members in a peaceful way. Her advice to the Bpeace associates in Afghanistan is to move forward quickly and take opportunities when you have them. “You must make up for lost time.”
Claudia, age 12, offers advice to the Afghan associates’ daughters. “When you grow up, you must continue the work of your mothers.” Sylvie, age 9, agrees that it’s important for women to work. “You need to get money so you can feed your family.” Claudia wants to be a doctor when she grows up, and Sylvie wants to be a singer. We found our first associates for the Bpeace class of 2017!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Thursday (Ku Wa Kane): Circling the globe with messages of hope
Pat, Anne and Wendy spent the morning facilitating a discussion on Business to Peace (B2P). Pat led the workshop by using circles (one for peace and one for business) to help the associates distinguish the "business mission" from the "peace mission" of their businesses. The associates discovered that these missions overlapped in their businesses and that they will have to manage them both.
Pat then asked the group what advice they have for the Bpeace Afghan associates. The associates embraced the question with enthusiasm, and their answers came pouring out:
Esther advises to “look for peace fast, because you can’t have business without peace.”
Jeanne says that “you have to fight for peace and you have to fight to live. Having a business gives you something to fight for.”
According to Languida, “you must vote to make changes. Fight for your rights and speak out to your government.”
Pascasie recognizes that “today’s leaders were yesterday’s children, and women are the ones who will teach the children.”
“Don’t lose hope,” advises Harriette. “The Rwandan women fight for peace alongside their husbands and sons.”
Solina’s advice is to work together. “When you work together, you get the strength to do what you couldn’t do alone. You get ideas you couldn’t think of on your own. And you’ll think about others, rather than just yourself.”
Peggy says not to stay silent. “Don’t be afraid to talk to others about your problems. You never know when someone might be able to help you.”
Leny notes that many people believe that the government is responsible for peace. She recommends teaching people to take responsibility for making peace. “Even if you don’t know your neighbor, you still should respect their rights. If you encounter a problem, you must try to solve it, even if it means changing your culture.”
Finally, according to Nadia, the women in Rwanda learned from the genocide that they are able to take care of themselves, since the men were also victims and could not protect the women. Her advice is to "be prepared to take care of yourself.”
After this lively and uplifting discussion, Anne led the associates in making personal collages that will hang on a mobile, reflecting images of peace. We will bring it back home for everyone to see and then the B2P team aims to bring the mobile to the associates in Afghanistan, who will add to the mobile to return to Rwanda.
Francois, who owns restaurants, sends her love to Eugenie. For those of you who don’t know Eugenie, she is a genocide survivor living in the US and pursuing a Masters in genocide studies and our team member). Francois was Eugenie’s teacher (and would love to see pictures of Eugenie and Mystica, so email some to Richard).
Remembering and Moving Forward
In the afternoon Anne and Marla shared with the associates what they can expect in the coming months from Bpeace-- including the Economic Development Fund, business training and cost sharing for computer training. With rounds of applause, the women expressed their commitment and gratitude to Bpeace. There is a lot of exciting work ahead for the Rwanda Team. Save the date--February 28th --for the mission presentation in New York City to learn all and get involved.
Then Marla and Anne had a fortuitous meeting with the Customer Development Manager of Johnson Diversey (JD). JD is a cleaning products company with its Africa headquarters based in Kenya. A few months ago JD approached Bpeace Associate Leny to be a distributor for Rwanda and Burundi. Since then Heather and Loretta have been advising Leny on this opportunity. JD is extremely interested in Leny as a quality candidate and with Bpeace in her corner, Leny has an even better chance of winning the contract. It is such a great opportunity that, at one point, Anne considered throwing in her credentials to be considered for the position.
Meanwhile Stephanie, Barbara, Wendy and Lee took the opportunity to explore Kigali. They purchased local crafts and paid a visit to the Kigali Memorial Centre. They experienced many powerful emotions as they viewed the exhibits including one on “how the world looked the other way.” The message that we took away from our visit to the museum is that helping one person can truly help the world. This message embodies the Bpeace mission as we strive to improve our Associate’s lives, and bring peace and prosperity to Rwanda.
And Sabra spent a relaxing day with friends of Bpeace--Joy and Janet visiting their craft shop, where all the cool Rwanda earrings come from. They took Sabra to visit a newly developed facility built for the women who are weaving peace baskets for Macys as well as other retail outlets. The facility includes a dormitory and a cafeteria presently under construction.
We topped off a fulfilling day with drinks with friends of Bpeace--the Ambassador Michael Arietti, his wife Leslie and Danny Stoian, Economic Consul at the Embassy. Leslie promised to visit Richard at his office. Richard said he will not let Leslie leave his office until she becomes a member of Bpeace.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Opening the Doors to New Ideas, Funding and Partners
Pioneers of Rwanda
Today Barbara, with team on hand, facilitated the market research training session where the associates learned how to create a customer feedback survey. It was held at our associate Emerita’s conference center Mamaan Sportif. The material was developed especially for our associates by Barbara (owner of Outlaw Consulting, a market research consulting company), Anne and EmilyBloch (Bpeace's Communications Manager).
The associates learned how to create and field a customer feedback survey. Barbara remarked “this was the first time I have been able to share my ‘career knowledge’ with people who need it more than my clients! While the session was tiring given the complexity of the information and the language barrier, it was amazingly satisfying. I felt confident that almost all embraced the concept and were excited about their new business tool. They were a bit concerned that people will not want to participate or be honest in answering surveys because ‘this is not the way’ in Rwanda. But after a lively discussion most recognized that they will be pioneers and one step ahead of their competitors.”
As usual the women lit up when Sabra showed up---they had immediately bonded with her on the last mission. Lee was busy taking 500 photos—Richard was indispensable in being able to quickly grasp and interpret complex ideas to the women. At the end the associates filled out a satisfaction survey on the training session. Barbara compiled the results and looks like we’re on track with our own pioneering efforts as far as our associates are concerned.
A Match Made in Heaven
On the last mission Marla identified Fina Bank as a potential partner for the Bpeace Economic Development Fund. Fina Bank is a development bank and therefore shares with Bpeace a social mission to help the people of Rwanda.
Today we – Sabra, Stephanie and Marla – returned to Fina Bank to procure a formal commitment. And…. We got it! The Managing Director was wowed by the dynamic Bpeace team – Sabra’s background in banking, Stephanie’s experience in finance and Marla’s knowledge of microfinance – and a potential pool of clients the bank would not normally access. Tomorrow we present the opportunity to the associates to get their commitment. With the pro-bono support of the law-firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP (introduced to Bpeace by Loretta Davis), we will look forward to formalizing this partnership.
And, (pay attention Steve) the Managing Director of Fina Bank asked for Bpeace to conduct customer service training for the bank staff.
Meanwhile Wendy met with representatives of Women Can Do It, a USAID-funded organization that helps women emerge from traditional roles. They have programs that help women who are running for elected office, and women who already hold decision-making positions in government. Women Can Do It also has a program to help entrepreneurs manage their businesses and make strategic decisions like a CEO. This may be a good resource for our associates.
Spreading the Bpeace Word
Marla, Sabra, Stephanie and Richard visited the Business Development Services unit of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation. Many of our associates are members of the Federation which operates like a Chamber of Commerce. The Federation is very interested in seeing our Rwanda training material; we will be returning with a presentation. There may be a similar opportunity as we had in Afghanistan to make a licensing contract with our training material.
Toasting Today's Success
In the evening, some of the team members shared a carafe of red wine at Kirusimbi – a local restaurant – where we dined on fish, enjoyed live music of easy listening tunes of the 70’s (Sabra knows the words to them all) and toasted to a successful and productive day.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Ku Wa Kabili (Tuesday): Messages of Hope From Kigali to Kabul
Today marked an important occasion for Bpeace. Wendy, Pat, and Barbara (Jeanne’s mentor) started the day with a visit to Jeanne, where Wendy conducted the first B2P (Business to Peace) interview. We’re connecting the dots from business to peace by exploring ways our associate’s businesses can contribute to long lasting peace. And our associates are happy to be part of it. We hope these stories will inspire the Bpeace Afghan associates in their peacebuilding efforts.
After interviewing Jeanne, Wendy stated “this justifies being on the mission and if I went home today it would have been worthwhile.”
Anne joined Wendy, Pat and our interpreter Susan to continue the B2P interviews with Languida at her funeral business. Languida is a star role model for B2P because she is running a business that traditionally women didn’t run and in which cultural issues surround the taboo of death. When asked by Wendy what advice Languida would like to give our associates in
After the B2P interviews, Wendy found that what most resonates for her is how the women who need help are so willing to help others.
To support the efforts of our courageous Rwandan Associates…
Anne, Marla and Lee met with USAID and the Department of Defense to identify regional programs and resources to support the efforts of our associates. Anne and Marla reviewed current and future Bpeace training programs and possible opportunities for partnering. With the same intent, Barbara, Stephanie, Marla and Richard met with the head of UNIDO Operations in
Meanwhile back at Richard’s office, Sabra continued to work with our associates on reading the stories their “books” tell. She reviewed business budgets with Pierrette, Nadia, Sylvie and Leiny and emphasized the importance of knowing your monthly basic costs and preparing for peaks and valleys. Sabra also discussed with Leiny the opportunity to become a distributor of cleaning products with guidance from Leiny's mentors back in the
Monday, January 22, 2007
Today, the sun breaks through
Anne's sister Golde.
On-the-ground consulting was the order of the day, as the team split up to spend quality time with the associates, asking, listening and advising—as is the Bpeace way.
Money makes the world go round
Sabra, as a financial consultant in the US and Anguilla, is one of those lucky Bpeacers who directly translates what she does for a living into her Bpeace mentoring and training. Brigitte, Harriet and Jeanne—who all own separate beauty salons--are working together to refine their financial tracking systems. They are struggling to manage their inventory (hair care products) and to understand the differing levels of profitability for all the services they offer.
Sisters wherever we go
Nadia was literally moved to tears when Anne announced that she would co-mentor Nadia with another Bpeacer, Anne’s sister Golde Kantor. Nadia wants to transform her restaurant into an Internet cafe to serve the needs of the increasing number of business travelers, as well as offering services that will contribute to the development of computer literacy in the local community. Anne, Wendy and Lee see a market need for these types of services and together with Richard discussed with Nadia the next steps to help her achieve her dream. A short-term goal is for Nadia to identify a technology expert.
Brand, baby, brand
Barbara, Stephanie and Marla visited Francoise who is currently running three related businesses in
Right now all three businesses operate under different names and Barbara, Stephanie and Marla emphasized the need to trade on Francoise’s restaurant success and brand the other businesses to effectively cross-market all three. Francoise also needs to acquire a loan in order to purchase equipment to expand the catering buisness. And hey, Bpeacers and friends reading out there—Francoise needs a mentor! Who do you know who can help her bulld these busiensses and create a brand?
Leasing? What a concept
Pierrette and Peggy operate a freight-forwarding business, critical to any country on the rebound. Barbara, Wendy and Marla introduced the concept of leasing as a means for Pierette and Peggy to purchase a large truck to move beyond their domestic service and expand into international transport within the East African Economic Community--a necessity for their survival and sustainability.
The growing reputation of their business--the only one in its industry owned and operated by women in
Winding up the day
Out to dinner and a quick shop. Barbara so far is in the shopping lead, but we’re expecting big things from Lee, who collects African art.
Ku Cyemeru (Sunday - A Day of Rest and Worship for Many Rwandans…but not our incredibly hard-working team.)
Our team is finally assembled with the arrival of Pat Pasick, who joined us for a Rwandan breakfast at the InterCon. While Marla, Anne, Wendy and Pat adjourned to the hotel lobby to finalize the details of the B2P (Business to Peace) interviews and workshop – a key focus of this mission – Barbara, Stephanie and Lee were honored with a quick but very personal tour of Kigali by Gilbert, one of our wonderful drivers.
On our way to Kimisagara market, Gilbert recounted details of his experience during the 1994 genocide in which he lost his father, both grandfathers and his youngest sister. While the losses continue to be mourned, life abounds amid the stalls of vegetables, crafts, meat fish, palm oil… in this local hillside market. Everything here is on a hillside which, of course, is why Rwanda is known as “The Land of a Thousand Hills.”
Associate mentor introductions
Jeanne and Barbara
In the afternoon, Wendy and Anne accompanied Barbara to Jeanne’s GENESIS Salon and home. At the beauty salon our team members enjoyed fresh orange-pineapple juice and lively conversation. We were happy to see on a Sunday afternoon, the salon filled with customers.
Barbara and the rest of the team already started considering ways to generate weekday clientele for Jeanne’s salon. Also on hand for this visit were Jeanne’s husband Labon and her children Cynthia and Lauben who received colored chalk from Wendy. In addition to recognizing the benefits of ownership, Jeanne proudly described the distinction of her business as one treating all clients with equal respect “whether or not they are wearing shoes.”
Sabra and Pascasie
Sabra and Susan had a wonderful meeting with Pascasie and her family at their beautiful home. It was great to see that Pascasie’s entire family is involved with the growth of her beverage distribution business. Sabra was especially excited to realize that this business is intended to be passed on to the next generation. Susan and Sabra both agreed that the key to growing Pascasie’s business is to help her determine which customer segment she should target to generate enough growth to remain competitive. Sabra can’t wait for her next visit on this mission with Pascasie.
Ange and Lee
Meanwhile Marla, Stephanie and Richard accompanied Lee to the home of Ange where mentor and associate met for the first time. Ange runs a photography and video studio out of her home office.
Marla offered Ange her first opportunity to use a digital camera. Ange also showed some recent video footage from an event for which she had been referred by fellow Bpeace associate Console. We were all impressed by Ange’s knowledge of current trends in photography and her ability to assess the equipment she needs to ensure her success in this growing competitive field in Kigali.
We ended the evening with debriefs, dinner and blogging and are ready for tomorrow.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Live from Kigali... its Saturday Night !
Starting 20 or so hours earlier, half the Rwanda Mission team, Marla, Anne, Barbara and Lee initially assembled at JFK. Fresh from a meeting with Candace Matthews, President of SoftSheen Carson, and Bpeacer Binta Niambi Brown, Marla and Anne arrived with Dark and Lovely samples for our Rwandan associate salon owners and a plethora of training materials, supplies and gifts for our associates in
En route to
Be sure to tune in daily to stay on top of our jam packed agenda.