Thursday, February 19, 2009

Life is never dull - we ARE moving to Rwanda

Yes, you heard me right. We are back on for the move to Rwanda, but this process has been much healthier than the previous. We are partnering together with Bridge2Rwanda (www.bridge2rwanda.org) to establish excellent, effective and sustainable incubation services for high-impact ventures. If you want to see our prospectus, feel free to email me at jennifer@jukanovich.com. We do have to raise the initial capital of $400K to start this venture so that our two families can move to Rwanda by the end of this summer for a minimum of two years and launch the work. Bridge2Rwanda is assisting us with this, and we are also partnering with Breakthrough Partners (www.breakthroughpartners.org), but if you'd like to invest, we'd love to talk with you. This is not a whim. This is the next thing we are doing in our life and we are not going to put an end date on it. We have received incredible affirmation and invitation by local Rwandans. Here's a bit more history if you'd like to know more...

It all started when our dear friends, Carter and Kerry Crockett, invited us to spend a weekend with them soon after the offer from Food for the Hungry was withdrawn.

We have been kindred spirits and dear friends with the Crocketts since we were first introduced to each other in Seattle’s inner city. Although we have lived in separate cities and countries for the past six years, this friendship has proven to be one of those rare gifts in life, the type that has connected, challenged and inspired each couple despite the distance and time apart. Carter had recently resigned from his professorship at Westmont College (he has been a business CEO/marketing exec and has his Ph.D. in entrepeneurial ethics). It seemed innocent enough to spend a weekend together considering God’s will for each family… but what emerged on that retreat was a common dream none of us suspected; a dream that has captured our imagination and interest in seeing what we could do together to join the work God is already doing in Africa.

Our families intend to move together, as families, to Rwanda to help alleviate poverty, build communities and share the love of Christ by nurturing new and existing business enterprises. We believe that there are two trends that favor such a vision. First, there is a significant demand in Africa today for enterprising individuals and innovative companies with the potential to build self-sustaining communities (and prevent undue reliance on aid or philanthropy). Secondly, there is a growing trend to use “business incubators” to facilitate and nurture practical aspects of this development in developing countries. Business incubation is seen as a potential next stage in poverty alleviation (beyond micro-finance), offering more than banking services, but the facilities, training and coaching required to aid in the creation of thriving enterprises. We are hoping that our experience as students and practitioners of business may equip us to provide the type of services typically encapsulated in the business incubator model.

Dano, Carter and Kerry will be traveling with Bridge2Rwanda at the end of March to begin the on-the-ground research needed for the business plan. We'll keep you posted.

2 comments:

paintingpam said...

Hey, Jennifer and Dano,

I just got your Valentine card and noticed your blog. The two of you amaze me with all that you do. God is truly blessing these two families. My blog is for my handmade paper which is my true love in art. www.paintingpam.blogspot.com

Good Luck and I'll check back often.

The Magruder Family said...

Hey this is great news!

The Magruder family looks forward to getting to know you. Please do not hesitate to contact us about any questions you might have for the move.

God bless,