Herve is a finalist in the Bpeace Race to Innovation who is going to college here in Butare. I met with this young man for over two hours last night to talk about his vision to create jobs for women. He said he was inspired by his mother who raised he and his three brothers after his father died. His mom had to be the head of the household, and started a tailor business with one sewing machine to raise her family. He feels that if his mother could do that, then street women who now face arrest for illegal selling and an unsteady income can do that too! His dream is to start a food delivery service that will employ street women to provide fresh produce and delivery to working women who now have no time to shop.

Herve said, “The women here have great potential here but there is a gender issue. The women have the power here but they don’t know how to use that.“ He says he learns from women all the time because they have great ideas ( Herve has some pretty great ideas himself).

The meeting was a fun and energetic brainstorming session on all the ways that Herve might advance his business dream. Together we mapped the ideas and actions into Bpeace’s Forward Plan tool.

Herve has a passion for new ideas and entrepreneurship and I have no doubt that he will be a business success at whatever he chooses to do. He said that the experience of being in the Bpeace Race to Innovation has been invaluable, from writing his own business plan to learning to communicate clearly in a professional manner.

Herve’s Bpeace Advocate--Bpeace member Teri Leavens in New York--has been very proactive in connecting him with experts in the U.S. like Fresh Direct and City Harvest to advise him on his next steps. Herve said he feels a true friendship with Teri has developed out of this process.

As a Race to Innovation finalist, Bpeace is asking help raising $10,000 in seed capital for his business.  Please click on the button below to hear Herve make his own pitch and vote for him with as little as $15.

I have to say, at the end of our meeting I felt honored that Herve said he felt comfortable talking to me because I reminded him of his mother.