How to Lead Rwandan Women to Entrepreneurship | Chantal Munanayire


Entrepreneurial Tips

Ep. 192 - Chantal Munanayire - Would you be able to start a business in a country with a history of genocide? Is it harder to start a business in Africa than in the U.S.? Chantal Munanayire describes how training women on entrepreneurship has enabled many Rwandan women to successfully start and grow businesses and become independent. Chantal Munanayire is the facilitator for Rwanda Businesswomen for the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women. She brings change for Rwandan women business owners by facilitating their business education in the US to help them grow their businesses. In this episode, Chantal describes how women in Rwanda receive training that enables them to start and grow successful businesses. Listen in to learn the factors you should consider before quitting your corporate job to pursue your passion in entrepreneurship. You will also learn the importance of having a business strategy and plan in place to help successfully grow your business as a woman entrepreneur.

Key Takeaways:

  • The factors to consider before quitting your job to pursue business if it’s your passion
  • The importance of having a strong team that understands your business to help you grow
  • How to be courageous, patient, and understandable to successfully start and grow a business
  • Why you should always stay updated and flexible for change as a business owner

"A women entrepreneur should feel confident and believe in herself." -Chantal Munanayire

In this episode you’ll discover:

The role of the program for Rwandan women business owners and Chantal’s role as the facilitator [0:55]

How the 1994 genocide inspired Chantal to engage in training women on entrepreneurship [3:24]

How the government of Rwanda is supporting women entrepreneurs with resources [5:27]

The factors to consider before starting a business to ensure long-term success [6:35]

The importance of having a good relationship with your family about you running a business [8:21]

The different industries that women are involved in Rwanda plus how they do their marketing [11:02]

The importance of having a good business structure and plan to help your business grow [12:38]

Chantal explains the lessons she has learned leading women in business [13:59]

The communication, financial, and supply challenges that many Rwandan business owners face [15:43]

She explains the importance of staying updated and ready for change as the world changes [17:27]

How Rwandan women business owners are able to work remotely with improved internet access [18:35]

Chantal speaks on the Covid and vaccination situation in Rwanda and how it’s affecting business [20:06]

The biggest flex and advantage of being a woman entrepreneur [21:01]

Chantal Munanayire is a successful Rwandan entrepreneur with a charitable heart. In 2009, Chantal became the first female owner of a car body repair and paint shop (or “garage” as it is called in Rwanda) in the capital city of Kigali. She later went on to be elected as the first female President of the Rwandan Garage Association from 2011 to 2016.

Chantal graduated from the Peace Through Business® (PTB) entrepreneurship training program in 2014 and was named the "Enterprising Woman of the Year" by Enterprising Women Magazine, based in New York.

Since 2015 Chantal has taken on the role of In-country Facilitator for the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) and PTB’s training program in Rwanda, where she teaches entrepreneurship to other enthusiastic female business owners. She simultaneously mentors and coaches PTB graduates through the PTB Alumnae Association in Rwanda.

From 2016 to 2018, Chantal served as an executive on the board of directors of the Gasabo Investment Company, and team member of the Finance Committee.

In 2017 Chantal was elected Chairperson of the Rwandan Chamber of Creative Art & Crafts which leads 10 different associations within the Private Sector Federation (PSF), alongside these duties she also currently serves as a board member of PSF and a team member of the Operations Committee.

In the same year, Chantal was one of three women in Rwanda awarded the "Women of Courage" award by the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda.

In 2018, Chantal participated in the training program and obtained the certificate in Essential Practices in Association Management held in Rwanda and organized by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in partnership with the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) and African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE).


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