I couldn’t even begin to imagine that this would be what our flagship was like. We have our offices next to our industrial ovens. We have the production space lined with clean, high-quality tiles. We are running a business and we are kicking ass.
Switching from wooden ovens to electric ovens at our Kigali Bakery was a game changer, but as a Rwandan proverb says, “If you don’t remember where you came from, you will never know where you are going.”
We have come from so far, and each small step has set us forward.
In 2018, TWB is focusing on Gicumbi as our next training and bakery launch site. Our preparations are on a good track, including developing the training schedule, partner relationships, and interview process for the participants. We will be launching the training for this group on April 23rd.
We believe in our mission. We listen. We learn from our mistakes. We remain committed to what we know can work.
That’s what the women in Remera call them: the pretzels.
We, as a team have to boldly move forward in spaces that we don’t always have the answers for. We have to try new ways to deliver business education and in turn, new ways to run our ownership model for these businesses.
Like the individual bakeries and trained women, TWB as an organization benefits from collaboration, building and exchanging ideas across countries and models.
The story of TWB, in its entirety, includes the courage and the bold persistence of others.
Yvonne has now been a team member of The Women's Bakery for one year! Happy Anniversary Yvonne! Here, Yvonne reflects on what she has learned and how she continues to propel TWB forward in Rwanda.
Why do sustainable bakeries matter? Sustainable bakeries provide a group of women with consistent and growing incomes. That’s job security. And it’s also opportunity. Women can rely on their work at the bakeries and choose where, when, and how to invest their earnings. Sustainable bakeries provide suppliers (farmers) and buyers (shop-keepers) consistent business. That’s micro-economic activity that can self-improve and correct. Sustainable bakeries also provide community members consistent access to nutritious bread. That’s Good business.
As TWB foresees even more growth in 2017, we gratefully reflect on the growth we have seen from summer 2015 through December 2016. Our Rwanda team is now made up of two American staff and three Rwandan staff, all of whom contribute to TWB’s work in Rwanda in immeasurable ways.
Our women are so committed and self-determined to secure long awaited growth, not just for themselves but for their families and this country.