Written by Jordan Smith, TWB's Research Impact Analyst, University of Denver
I participated in the Posner Center for International Development’s annual challenge, Posner Poverty Hack, in July of 2016 where I had the privilege to work on behalf of The Women’s Bakery in an effort to earn a grant to implement a mobile app for sales in their East African bakeries.
The fusion of non-profit operations with for-profit bakeries was exactly the development model I was hoping to gain more insight into, and so I soon after joined their team for a 4-month internship.
Since late August, I have been working on both social and financial impact analysis.
With the start of their first bakery in Rwanda, I have been tracking sales and production numbers to see the positive direction the Remera, Kigali bakery is growing in. I have compiled reports demonstrating TWB’s social impact with their program participants. In addition, I designed a template for a bakery operations manual using my previous work experience that serves to streamline future expansion.
Working with this team, I have learned that even incremental, positive change is a step in the right direction. Working with women to develop a social-enterprise that provides sustainable employment opportunities for women has the tremendous potential for impact in developing countries, especially in East Africa.
While my internship with TWB is coming to a close, it has provided me with the ongoing challenge of seeing development from a different angle. I am anxious to witness TWB’s success with their current and future programs. I graduate in June 2017 from the University of Denver and, while the future may still be uncertain, I am incredibly grateful to the team at TWB for everything they have taught me. I look forward to seeing them grow in both East Africa and Denver and St. Louis – and beyond!