Paving the way for the future of BREC
Having completed our 2-month transition phase with Chris Smith, we are now forced out of the nest and into the world to soar and discover our own ideas, make our own mistakes, and evolve the Center into its next phase of existence. As someone who asks 101 questions daily, it was extremely beneficial to have Ben Cox (even for a short time) and Chris Smith available to guide us through their journey going all the way back to when they first arrived in Kigali to start the Center in 2010.
Rayshawn and I have had quite an adventure so far as we adjust to our home for the next two years. It’s truly amazing how many incredibly talented, intellectually stimulating, and just generally kind people we have met here. From Rwanda and all over the world, we’ve managed to create a community here for ourselves that we would love to share with anyone willing to take the 30 hour trek from the U.S. to Rwanda, or significantly shorter trips from Europe or The Middle East (this is my shameless attempt to get people to visit us). So beyond making friends, playing Settlers of Catan, eating delicious passion fruit, learning how to drive manual in one of the hilliest places in the world, and enjoying the almost constant sun and warmth, what have we been doing for the last 6 months you ask?
Around the holidays, we spent our time discussing how we wanted to shape the Center over the next two years. Deciding our action plan for this year has helped us determine how we are going to grow and strengthen existing programs as well as define what new projects we will take on. It has been a fun mental exercise of determining what two people with a network of entrepreneurship-related organizations can do. We’ve decided on a few areas of focus:
- Entrepreneurship Research
- Increase Awareness of Entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneurship Education
- Support Services for Entrepreneurs
- Build a stronger BREC presence
Our hope is that these five areas will help maintain our focus for the next year as we work on existing projects like the Babson Entrepreneurship and Leadership Academy (BELA); the Summer Women’s Leadership Program; and hosting Global Entrepreneurship Week/Rwanda, in addition to taking on new projects like competitions and an entrepreneurship teacher training initiative. This may seem like a lot for two employees to undertake, but we’re up for the challenge! Through this blog we hope to share our journey with you and maybe get you excited enough to come visit! I’ll be heading to Rio De Janeiro next week for the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Congress where I will be discussing our future plans for entrepreneurship development with people from over 125 countries!