Hand in Hand: Empowering Entrepreneurship in Rwanda

The Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation has been supporting Rwandan Business Incubator, "Hand in Hand",  since 2019. 

From 2019 to 2021, the Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation embarked on a collaborative journey with the Rwandan organisation Hand in Hand for Development, focusing on building alternative financing models and promoting start-up and business creation. The success of this three-year partnership has led to the extension of our commitment for another three years.

Since its establishment in 2016, Hand in Hand has set ambitious goals. The first three-year project phase, co-financed by the Foundation, focused on helping community saving groups and cooperatives establish small businesses and startups. In the current second project phase, the organisation is dedicated to promoting agricultural innovations, including the strategic use of greenhouses for cultivating organic potato seeds.

In 2023, the head of the Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation, Aileen, visited Hand in Hand to see the organisation's latest projects. Her journey included stops at a sewing cooperative, a loan borrower, and a small shop under construction. She also visited a greenhouse, made possible by the latest grant from the Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation. Bags of vermicompost fertiliser, bearing the Foundation's logo, stand in front of the greenhouse. This project focuses on growing worm cultures to produce organic fertiliser and natural pesticides.

In all of Hand in Hand's activities and project ideas, market considerations, opportunities, and potential demand are carefully taken into account. Patient, the founder and director, maintains a great vision and drive to provide tangible future perspectives for the entire community. And it's meetings like these that highlight the importance of on-site project visits by the Lemonaid & Charity Foundation - these encounters enable a deeper understanding of the projects, their progress, and, most importantly, the people driving them.

Behind every project, there are individual, personal stories. Patient's background, influenced by his father's role as a cook in an orphanage, shaped his commitment to doing good and supporting the less privileged. His journey from studying social sciences to initiating social programs with friends reflects his dedication. Towards the end of the day, Aileen visited the grounds of the Imbabazi orphanage, now a garden and museum. Patient shares this part of his history, highlighting its significance in shaping his current commitment. Patient is just one of many visionaries with whom the Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation has the privilege to work.