From the month of January to the month of June, Impact Hub Kigali was part of Impact Hub’s Seed Program; a six-month incubation program aimed at enhancing purpose-driven entrepreneurship through opening new Impact Hubs across Africa. Apart from Kigali, six other cities Bamako, Kampala, Lusaka, Khartoum, Harare and Accra had submitted applications and had made it to the candidate stage.
This six-month process included drawing up a feasibility study for Impact Hub Kigali, which showcased our ambitions, aspirations and the potential. To be precise, Impact Hub Kigali wanted to create an avenue for the social enterprise scene in Kigali and fostering collaborations within the community. With the help of experienced founders of other Impact Hubs across the world, we were able to fine tune our feasibility study and hand it in for voting by Impact Hub representatives across the globe!
During our application stage, we debuted our “Social Enterprise Happy Hour” at our rooftop event space in Kiyovu. We had 25 individuals and organizations pitch their ideas for social change to an audience of around 130 social entrepreneurs in Kigali. Later on, we also hosted other Impact Hub candidates (Kinshasa, Bujumbura, Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Freetown) along with other Impact Hub teams who were in town for the induction of the Resilience Africa program.
On the last week of May, we received news that we were now an Impact Hub initiative along with teams from Bamako, Khartoum and Accra. It was now time to seriously get down to work in order to bring what was written in the feasibility study to reality. In order to get a first hand view of what Impact Hub was all about, our representative, Maria was invited to the Impact Hub global gathering in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. This year’s gathering was dubbed “Unlikely Allies” and it was all about catalyzing change through collaborations between Impact Hubs, partner organizations and the sharing of resources to enable this. Over 1000 participants were present during the gathering. Maria’s most important take-away was the value of putting the community first as an Impact Hub – then and only then will collaborations for sustainable impact take place.
This year’s theme was “Unlikely Allies” with our C.E.O Maria Mayanja representing us in the global gathering.
On July 23, we plan to open our space up through an open house event to introduce our ‘Unlikely Allies’ to our community. We hope to spark new partnerships within the community and from the outside in. On August 3, we plan to open our doors as Impact Hub Kigali and we welcome you to take this journey of transforming Rwanda’s future with us.