photo courtesy of Christian News Today
Recently, I have been hearing more and more buzz about Rwanda's economic reforms and rapidly improving investment climate. One way to gauge market improvements is to study the successes of local entrepreneurs. This is why today the focus of our Today's Profiles in Entrepreneurship is Arthur Karuletwa. Although he has resided in the America's northwestern corner of Washington since 1995, Mr Karuletwa hails from Rwanda. He sought refuge in the U.S. during the genocide that took place in Rwanda some 12 years ago.
Arthur has been very busy since he has been here in the States. His athletic gifts took him to America's basketball courts when he was still a teenager. The place that he would eventually end up at was Master's College in Valencia, California. This is where Mr. Karuletwa studied business and also met his wife-Amy Karuletwa.
It just so happened that when the couple met Amy was working at Starbuck's. The two shared a passion for coffee and Arthur was able to land an internship with a local coffee supplier. One fateful day, after the pair were married they wrote a business plan which was aimed at working very closely with Rwanda's coffee farmers. Shortly after penning the business plan they learned that Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame, was going to be visiting Boston for trade promotion. They went to Boston and heard the president speak. As a result they soon packed their bags, headed to Rwanda, and a dream was born. Inzozi, which means "dreams that come to life", is the company that the husband and wife team co-founded together.
Today Inzozi Coffee Traders has impacted the lives of people from many different walks of life. The company acts as an export partner or broker for Rwawandese coffee farmers. Within a short span of time Arthur has been able to help modernize Rwanda's coffee industry. He is also credited with helping the farmers to cut several layers of middlemen. By doing so he has helped many of these small farmers to double and even triple their incomes. He has also made customers in America very happy by importing high quality coffee beans with a story that may be even more relevant than the coffee itself. In fact very soon his label will hit the stands in Costco
and that my friends will be Rwanda's latest victory-thanks to entrepreneurs like Mr. Karuletwa.
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