This year, TWB is aiming to focus on our existing bakeries and refine our process for optimal efficiency and production so TWB women can manage their bakeries and be profitable. As part of this focus, our Remera Bakery (in Kigali) is seeking new markets and customers for our bread products.
Francoise Umutoniwase, our new marketing intern, has joined our team in Kigali to lead these efforts. This week, we sat down with Francoise to learn more about her education, interests, and what excites her most about working with The Women’s Bakery.
TWB: How did you hear about The Women’s Bakery?
Francoise: I heard about The Women’s Bakery on Instagram. I saw the photos and knew I wanted to be involved. I looked up the website and reached out to learn more. I was already interested in baking but also the kind of work that used baking for business and women’s empowerment.
TWB: Have you had a lot of experience baking?
Francoise: Of course! I have made amandazi and cookies at home with my family. I’m very close with them. We bake together but also travel together – I have two brothers and two sisters and we have a lot of fun together. I’m excited to get more experience inside the bakery at TWB. My favorite product is the vanilla cake, they are so sweet and delicious, but I also have been enjoying the oatmeal cookies.
TWB: Tell us more about your educational background and what your dreams are for the future.
Francoise: I studied history and economics in secondary school because I was always interested in these topics. At the Adventist University of Central Africa, I chose marketing because I love expressing what you have and sharing it with other people. Marketing ties to so many other things that I want to do. Eventually, I would love to have a big hotel with a huge cafeteria with all kinds of healthful products. That’s of course in 10-15 years. With TWB, I hope that the women will become stars throughout Rwanda. They will be able to grow their market and be known everywhere.
TWB: So far in your internship, what have you enjoyed most? What has been challenging? What is the potential of TWB in Rwanda – and beyond?
Francoise: Well, I like working with people who like to bake. Specifically, I like exploring markets for bread because you can learn about consumer behavior and habits. With TWB, I can apply what I’ve learned in school in a very tangible way. This of course, has been hard. We use low amounts of sugar and the fact that we have such a nutritious product can be hard to convince people to consume. I think TWB is a great opportunity to promote love between all people and to practice patience as we work for the business to be successful. Profits may not come immediately, but they will come. I also hope we can continue to create goals with the TWB women so they can actively be growing and seeking more success.
TWB: We are so happy you have joined our team. All of us on the team have had impactful people in our life that have propelled us to do this kind of work. Who are your biggest role models? Who motivates you the most?
Francoise: There are three: my parents, Oprah, and my boyfriend. My parents pursue all opportunities; Oprah is motivated and has hope; and my boyfriend is generous with others. His dream is to help street children and I find this so encouraging.
TWB: Thanks for all your hard work, Francoise. We can’t wait to see how your work helps us grow in Kigali – and elsewhere!
Francoise: Thank you to all of you. Everyone at TWB, you are my superheroes. You guys are just, really cool. I hope that my experience with TWB continues.