ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHANGES EVERYTHING

The future of the African continent relies on whether the best young leaders can start the businesses that will employ and empower the continent. The Accelerate Academy recruits, trains, mentors, and invests in the best young entrepreneurs in Rwanda – preparing them to thrive as business leaders.

HOW DOES THE ACADEMY WORK?

THE SUMMIT

Out of hundreds of applications, each summer we choose the top 100 brightest young entrepreneurs to attend a three-day entrepreneurship summit to learn from successful business men and women from East Africa & the United States.

THE ACADEMY

The top entrepreneurs will be selected from the Accelerate Summit to join the Accelerate Academy — an exclusive entrepreneurship fellowship providing the skills, mentorship, and start up capital to successfully build a thriving business.

THE INVESTMENT

Groups of global investors join us for an exciting pitch event where the best ventures receive seed capital investments. In 2016, we invested nearly $40,000 in 12 unique businesses. All fellows are invited to stay with the Academy for 2 years and mentor future fellows.

MEET THE 2016/2017 ACCELERATE FELLOWS

Aime Christian

SAN COMPANY LTD
INDUSTRY: COFFEE
MEET AIME-CHRISTIAN

Rwanda is one of the top coffee-producing nations in Africa. At San Company Ltd., Aime Christian sells raw and roasted coffee beans to stores across Rwanda.

ALAIN CHRISTIAN

YUMMY MUSHROOMS
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET ALAIN CHRISTIAN

Alain cultivates and sells mushroom to small restaurants and individuals throughout Rwanda.

Alexandre

SANIT WING LTD
INDUSTRY: HEALTH & BEAUTY MANUFACTURING
MEET ALEXANDRE

From his home-based business, Sanit Wing Ltd., Alexandre manufactures soaps, oils using local materials like avocado and aloe vera. News of his quality, resourceful products is catching the attention of big businesses in Rwanda, growing his customer base from small markets to a national scale.

Alphonse

SASHA ELECTRONICS LTD
INDUSTRY: ELECTRONIC RETAIL
MEET ALPHONSE

Sasha Electronics Ltd. is a retail shop specializing in electronics for home and office. While Alphonse started as a walk-in business, he is expaning to contracts with small companies and start-ups across Rwanda.

Anais

RIMBA DESIGNS
INDUSTRY: ARTS RETAIL
MEET ANAIS

Anais mixes African and western inspirations in her clothing and jewelry design to create a unique style for her customers. Rimba Designs is excited to revolutionize the fashion industry in Rwanda!

Alice & Ariane

STARLIGHT
INDUSTRY: SOLAR ENERGY
MEET ALICE & ARIANE

Ariane and Alice, two electrical engineering students, created Starlight to provide a clean energy solution for the 72% of people in Rwanda who lack electricity, especially those in rural villages and refugee camps. So far they have designed solar devises for mobile chargers, lamps and computer bags.

christa

STUDENT MICRO-LENDING
INDUSTRY: MICRO-LENDING
MEET CHRISTA

Christa started Student Micro-Lending after noticing a common struggle amongst University women: a lack of means to pay for their education. Through her business, Christa is helping women bypass debt and pay forward educational opportunities to other women in their communities.

christophe

YOUTH FOR AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET CHRISTOPHE

Youth for Agriculture Development Initiative grows and sells seasonal fruits and vegetables -from eggplants to papaya- to local markets in Rwanda.

florentine

TYTYNE CHICKENS FARM
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET FLORENTINE

Based in her backyard, Florentine’s Tytyne Chickens Farm raises chicks from incubation up to 1 month.

henri

DHCHIS CONSTRUCTION SOLUTIONS
INDUSTRY: CONSTRUCTION
MEET HENRI

DHCHIS Construction Solutions mines and sells stone materials. Their main clients are currently construction projects in Kigali.

honore

HONORE TOURS & TRAVEL RWANDA
INDUSTRY: TOURISM
MEET HONORE

Honore Tours & Travel Rwanda offers a range of guided trips in the Land of a Thousand Hills, from birdwatching and gorilla trekking to cultural emersion trips.

ines

SERAPHINA
INDUSTRY: FASHION RETAIL
MEET INES

Seraphina is a fashion brand weaving Rwandan culture and tradition with innovative and contemporary designs. The name Seraphina comes from the Founder Ines’ grandmother, who also designed her own clothing. At Seraphina, their mission is to elevate Rwanda in the international fashion stage with designs that say confidence is chic.

innocent

ELtd ECOLOGICAL SANITATION OF RWANDA LTD
INDUSTRY: SANITATION
MEET INNOCENT

Ecological Sanitation of Rwanda Ltd. produces and sells composting toilets, an innovative system which turns human wastes into fertilizer. The second arm of the business sells water-treatment devices for water purification systems across Rwanda

jean-claude

ROUND DESIGNS LTD
INDUSTRY: COMMUNICATIONS & IT
MEET JEAN-CLAUDE

At Round Designs Ltd., Jean Claude provides communication designs, IT Solutions and printing services to small businesses and NGOs in Rwanda.

joselyne

BLOSSOM SALON
INDUSTRY: HEALTH & BEAUTY
MEET JOSELYNE

Capitalizing on Africa’s cellphone boom, at Joselyne’s Blossom Salon customers can book appointments online — a new feature for most businesses in Rwanda.

lambert

NSHUTI HOME OF VIDEO GAMES
INDUSTRY: ENTERTAINMENT
MEET LAMBERT

Recognizing that Rwandan young people loved video games but lacked the resources to purchase their own systems, Lambert created Nshuti Home of Video Games, a location where customers pay by the hour to play their favorite games. Lambert’s innovative space will employ others while providing entertainment in a unique way.

marie-claire

ANGE PIETA LTD
INDUSTRY: CLEANING & MAINTENANCE
MEET MARIE-CLAIRE

Ange Pieta Ltd., run by Marie Claire, is a hospital cleaning company in Rwanda which currently employs more than a dozen young people! Marie Claire makes some of her own cleaning products, and even pays for her employees’ health insurance — uncommon for small businesses in East Africa.

MARIE JEANNE & JAPHET

UWRWAMBARIO SHOE HUB
INDUSTRY: FASHION RETAIL
MEET MARIE JEANNE & JAPHET

Uwrwambario Shoe Hub designs hand-crafted shoes and sandals. These tailor-made kicks are guaranteed to fit each customer, and are an alternative to purchasing second-hand shoes, which have become more expensive with the increase in import taxes in Rwanda. Not only are their shoes beautiful, but long-wearing as they use repurposed tires as the soles to their custom footwear.

muzamil

BAMNORAH CHARCOAL BRIQUETTES COMPANY
INDUSTRY: MANUFACTURING
MEET MUZAMIL

From an abandoned construction project in Kigali, Muzamil, a senior in high school, started experimenting with organic waste to see if he could create a better charcoal briquette for his grandmother’s restaurant. It turns out, he did! From this experiment was birthed Bamnorah Charcoal Briquettes Company.

nancy

OLIWA CHICKS
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET NANCY

At Oliwa Chicks, Nancy sells chicken-meat and eggs to markets near her home.

obed

KUMBUKUMBU TOURS AND RESEARCH
INDUSTRY: TOURISM
MEET OBED

Kumbukumbu Tours and Research is a regional travel outlet for tourists looking to explore activities in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

pamphile

iWACU LABS
INDUSTRY: CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
MEET PAMPHILE

iWACU Labs is a one-stop IT service center offering a range of digital services from website and graphic design to 3D animation.

pascaline

INEZA MUSHROOM FARM
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET PASCALINE

Ineza Mushroom Farm sells mushrooms to markets, restaurants and grocery stores. Pascaline began the her business in her backyard using her own savings and a small amount of seed capital from her parents. Recently she received a grant which will enable her to expand her farm to 1,700 mushroom plants — nearly 6 times its current size!

Patrick b

NKINDI’S SUPERMARKET
INDUSTRY: REATAIL
MEET PATRICK B

As a way to honor his siblings lost to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Patrick created a unique supermarket with the goal of bringing people together. Nkidndi’s offers locally made products alongside everyday household items both in store and online.

Patrick n

URUMULI IWACU SOCIAL BENEFIT BUSINESS
INDUSTRY: MANUFACTURING
MEET PATRICK N

Urumuli Iwacu Social Benefit Business uses organic matter to manufacture briquettes used for cooking and heating.

serge

RWAGASABO TOURS
INDUSTRY: TOURISM
MEET SERGE

At Rwagasabo Tours travel company, Serge offers a variety of tourism services in Rwanda which include hiking and camping trips, lake tours, and gorilla trekking.

souzane

IRIZA NTAKO HERITAGE
INDUSTRY: ARTS RETAIL
MEET SOUZANE

Souzanne, founder of Iriza Ntako Heritage, is passionate about preserving Rwandan traditions and customs. Beautiful hand-woven baskets, made by Souzanne and a team of women she leads, use unique designs and hand-mixed colors unlike any others found in Rwandan markets.

vincent

KIBETI DOC
INDUSTRY: EVENT PLANNING
Meet VINCENT

Kibeti DOC offers party decoration services, catering for weddings, birthday parties and government functions.

wellars

RUGUSA COW PRODUCTS
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET WELLARS

Rwandans revere fews things as much as cows. At Rugusa Cow Products, Wellars and his mother raise dairy cows and sell milk to markets in Rwanda’s Southern Province.

yannick

LAVA BIKE TOURS – RWANDA
INDUSTRY: TOURISM
MEET YANNICK

Lava Bike Tours offers guided rides through villages and wildlife areas in Rwanda. Yannick’s obsession with bikes began when he was 4, before his feet could even touch the pedals. After starting his business with just one bike, Yannick has already grown to 6, hired two additional guides, and gives tours to groups visiting Rwanda from all across the world.

MEET THE 2015/2016 ACCELERATE FELLOWS

YVETTE

IRIBA CLEAN WATER DELIVERY
INDUSTRY: WATER TREATMENT
MEET YVETTE

Number of employees/partners: 6
Long-term Outcome: Serve 300,000 families daily with clean water.

When Yvette’s family moved from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, to Kayonza in Rwanda’s Eastern Province, they didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to find clean water in their new community. But this isn’t an uncommon story: nearly 68 percent of households in Eastern Rwanda lack access to potable water. Faced with a challenge, Yvette developed a solution: a clean water delivery service. Water from Lake Muhazi is treated with an ultraviolet purifier, filled into jerrycans, and distributed to households via bike delivery. At 19 years old and a full-time student at Kepler University, Yvette currently employs 16 bike couriers and supplies clean water to 100 homes daily, in addition to the 45,000 liters sold daily at water kiosks. Her vision is to one day make deliveries to 300,000 homes each day.

scovia

IRIBA CLEAN WATER DELIVERY
INDUSTRY: WATER TREATMENT
MEET SCOVIA

Number of employees/partners: 1
Long-term Outcome: Employ and empower Rwandan women to start poultry cooperatives in order to promote good nutrition and stabilize local economies.

As an IT major, Scovia was able to secure a job soon after graduation, but she was eager to find ways to supplement her income. What started as selling a couple dozen chicken eggs quickly grew into something bigger. In 2015 Scovia founded LALA Egg Farm, and now sells eggs to hundreds of people in Rwanda. What motivates her? Finding a solution to malnutrition in her country.

FABIOLA

CHICKEN QUEEN LTD.
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET FABIOLA

Number of employees/partners: 3
Long-term Outcome: Grow from 5,000 to 15,000 chickens in three years in order to combat malnutrition in Rwandan communities and create jobs for women and youth

Fabiola is the founder of Chicken Queen Ltd. and believe us — she is THE chicken queen! When Fabiola came to the Accelerate Summit in August 2015, she struggled to get through her presentation. At the Accelerate Pitch Finale eight months later, Fabiola spoke with confidence as she told investors about her plan to grow Chicken Queen from 5,000 to 15,000 broiler chickens in three years. Knowing the problems of malnutrition that many Rwandans face, Fabiola’s vision is increase the health of her community by providing nutritious, quality food.

JEANNE D’ARC

TECH RIDE LTD
INDUSTRY: MOBILE TECHNOLOGY
MEET JEANNE D’ARC

Number of employees/partners: 1
Long-term Outcome: Serve every Rwandan who travels on public transportation to different cities within the country

Jeanne d’Arc is a These Numbers Have Faces alumna, graduating with a degree in Computer Science in 2015. After a summer internship with Amazon in California, she returned to Rwanda with a new vision: Tech Ride, a mobile app helping Rwandans purchase bus tickets from their cell phones. Partnering with one of the largest mobile network companies in Rwanda, Jeanne d’Arc has found an audience of 3 million subscribers to share her breakthrough transportation solution. Instead of wasting hours in lines and additional travel required to reserve a bus ticket, Tech Ride will save Rwandans time and money.

sharon

INZOVU AFRICAN VILLAGE
INDUSTRY: RETAIL
MEET SHARON

Number of employees/partners: 4
Long-term Outcome: Scale the shop to create employment opportunities and tap into the market of the Rwandan tourist industry.

Growing up, Sharon spent her free time playing with crafts and designing her own clothing. But her love of art and fashion would go far beyond a childhood hobby. Today, Sharon’s full-fledged clothing, art and coffee-shop, Inzovu African Village, sells some of the most innovative and beautiful hand-made products in Kigali, like sandals made from banana fibers. While Sharon is in the beginning stages of her business, she is on her way to international partnerships, and her designs are modeled in Rwandan fashion shows. Inzovu works with women’s cooperatives in Rwanda and donates a percentage of profits back to the community.

arnold

TECH AVENUE 137
INDUSTRY: MOBILE TECHNOLOGY
MEET ARNOLD

Number of employees/partners: 4
Long-term Outcome: Expand the customer base of the app and tap into the sectors of tourism and international conferences in Rwanda

Arnold, a These Numbers Have Faces alum, graduated with a degree in IT in 2015, and soon afterward completed a summer internship at Amazon in California. These experiences inspired Arnold to start his own business, Tech Avenue 137, and develop CConnect, a conference management mobile application. Rwanda is one of the world’s fastest developing economy, and with the increasing number of events coming to the country, Arnold hopes to be at the forefront of the conference management market.

FRANK

GRAVITY RWANDA
INDUSTRY: ART/TECHNOLOGY
MEET FRANK

Number of employees/partners: 6
Long-term Outcome: Host exhibitions, secure contracts, and build a strong network to reach even more digital artists in Rwanda

Frank finds creativity even in the smallest spaces. From his home office – a shed next to his house – Frank and his partners at Gravity Rwanda produce some of the leading digital designs in Kigali. Frank’s greatest passion is to improve and increase art and design all across Rwanda, making Rwanda a leading nation in Africa’s digital design sector.

pacifique

REAL GREEN GOLD Ltd
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET PACIFIQUE

Number of employees/partners: 3
Long-term Outcome: Export 500 tons and locally sell 200 tons of organic bananas per year while increasing education on the harmful effects of pollution and GMOs

Pacifique knows everything about bananas — he comes from generations of banana farmers! As one of the pioneers of organic banana farming in Rwanda, Pacifique hopes to enter the country’s booming agricultural market with quality products grown without pesticides, ultimately raising awareness about the effects of chemical pollution and GMOs.

claudien

KIGALI MAINTENANCE MADE EASY
INDUSTY: SERVICES
MEET CLAUDIEN

Number of employees/partners:2
Long-term Outcome: Open a technical school to educate and empower young people
Claudien is the youngest of his siblings, but he is well on his way to helping his community rise. Through his business, Kigali Maintenance Made Easy, Claudien provides corrective, cosmetic and preventative maintenance, and a 24/7 emergency response team for repairs. His vision is to one day start a technical school to teach trade skills to youth in his community.

Joe

SOCIAL ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING LTD.
INDUSTRY: HOUSING
MEET JOE

Number of employees/partners: 1
Long-term Outcome: Provide affordable and environmentally friendly housing to communities across Rwanda in order to promote social equity and move towards sources of clean energy

Joe’s vision is to create social equity and healthy home environments through affordable, efficient housing. An architect by trade, Joe’s passion for sustainable housing stems from his desire to take care of others, as he was responsible for taking care of himself at a very young age.

jean paul

GENUINE LASER SHOP
INDUSTRY: RETAIL / SERVICES
MEET JEAN PAUL

Number of employees/partners: 2
Long-term Outcome: Serve small, local businesses that do not typically have affordable access to laser printing services
Jean Paul’s first venture into the business world was when he was still a child, making food deliveries for his mom’s restaurant. It was hard work, but he returned day after day, knowing he was one step closer to his dreams of having his own business someday. As part of the first class of Accelerate Fellows, Jean Paul started a laser engraving business with four employees who laser cut photos, logos, and marketing material on wood, leather, metal, and more. His goals are to purchase more laser engravers, grow his staff and invest in their education. With support from The Accelerate Academy, Jean Paul’s vision is to mentor other young entrepreneurs in his community.

basile

TOMATO PRODUCTION
INDUSTRY: AGRICULTURE
MEET BASILE

In Rwanda, agriculture is thriving, and I want to figure out a better way to keep foods fresh throughout the year. My business will help solve the problem of the short shelf-life of tomatoes, even when they aren’t in season.

blandine

COSMOS
INDUSTRY: MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY
MEET BLANDINE

I’m a skilled writer and believe education and resources can empower people to have good health. My vision is to create a magazine focused on parenting resources and maternal health advice. Additionally, I want to create a mobile app that will provide emergency medical advice from health professionals, and help direct rural people to medical assistance.

christophe

YUBEYI
INDUSTRY: ONLINE COMMERCE
MEET CHRISTOPHE

YUBEYI is a shopping website where people can purchase products and have them delivered to their home or office. Not only will customers save time, but so will small businesses! YUBEYI will allow manufacturers to list their products on the website, free of charge.

COLLINS

CHIPS CHAMPION
INDUSTRY: RESTAURANT
MEET COLLINS

At Rwandan universities it’s a struggle to find a good meal. Lines are long and time is short, so many students waste their study hours, or miss a meal. My vision is to have a fast-food restaurant that will provide students with a good, quick meal that can be delivered right to their dorms.

JOHN

J&J STUDIOS
INDUSTRY: ENTERTAINMENT
MEET JOHN

In Rwanda the music industry is on the rise. At this time, recording production is expensive, standards are low, and outside competition is high. My vision is to change the industry by starting a high-quality studio for local musicians and film producers, and offer a space for live performances.

JACKSON

RWANDA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION LTD
INDUSTRY:MANUFACTURING
MEET JACKSON

Recognizing a need for sustainable charcoal for cooking to prevent damage to the environment, Jackson created an innovative solution. Using recycled organic materials, Rwanda Environmental Protection Ltd creates briquettes for cooking over charcoal stoves.

MAJESTE

KIGALI PSYCH CENTER
INDUSTRY: MENTAL HEALTH
MEET MAJESTE

For a long time my vision has been to start a psychological service center. Because of the 1994 Genocide, many Rwandans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). I myself lost my relatives during the Genocide. The need for trained psychological professionals is critical, and I feel called to a career that will help heal the wounds of my community.

MAUREEN

MEET RWANDA
INDUSTRY: CREATIVE ARTS
MEET MAUREEN

My vision is to help women, families and communities prosper. Through my Arts and Crafts Workshop Center, I want to empower vulnerable women and girls to become financially independent. My hope is to offer uneducated, yet talented, women the opportunity to bring their creativity to life.

Randolin

KABEZA LOOFAH
INDUSTRY: MANUFACTURING
MEET RANDOLIN

My goal is to expand upon my current business: manufacturing casual shoes and sandals that massage your feet as you walk, a design derived from reflexology. I also hope to grow my business through the production and sale of bath sponges and loofahs.

willy

DOVE FILM LIBRARY
INDUSTRY: ENTERTAINMENT
Meet Willy

Even though I’m still in school, I’ve chosen to become an entrepreneur because I believe I can be a solution to a problem that exists in Rwanda. I love the traditions in my country; however, in a global society, I fear those traditions are being forgotten. Through creative industry, my vision is to preserve Rwandan culture through education and entertainment.