I recently had the opportunity to write an article about my passion for empowering women economically in the Enterprising Women's Magazine. Here is an exerpt.
I will never forget my first trip to Rwanda. Women gathered to meet me wearing brightly colored dresses and even brighter smiles. As I sat down to hear their stories, they chatted comfortably with each other. They were part of a microloan group, and each one had received a small loan to start or grow a business. There was a camaraderie that was inviting, and an optimism that was surprising in light of the desperately poor community and the unspeakable atrocities of genocide around them. “I am not alone anymore. Now I have community,” said a woman who sells clothing in a small shop. “I make a good profit and can take care of my household. I’ve learned how to manage my business, and I feel empowered and confident.”
When I asked them what difference their businesses make to the community, one woman responded, “We increase the love in our community by sharing with others. We all took in orphans, and our children are in school. We are a good example when we work together and collaborate. The future is bright.” I smiled when I heard that this dynamic group of small business owners in Rwanda had appropriately named their group “Hebu Mwaba” or “Let’s Rock” in English. They have been an inspiration to me for years.
The team at Enterprising Women has graciously made this edition of the online magazine available for our readers. Click here to read the full magazine: http://online.enterprisingwomen.com
Who has inspired you to step out and make a difference? I'd love to hear your story.