Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Next Steps Toward Moving to Rwanda

2009Rwanda Trip

Dano, Carter and Kerry returned home a week ago after an incredible 12 day trip in Rwanda. The trip only affirmed the direction we are headed towards with Muhabura Venture Partners (we changed the name - that was one of the practical things that came out of the trip). They had over 40 meetings with Rwandan entrepeneurs, successful African businessmen and women, directors of various equity funds and associations, and governmet officials. The bottom line is that we cannot get there fast enough - the work is there, what we are proposing doesn't really exist yet, and our combination of gifts and experience would be invaluable. Carter and Dano have been asked to submit two proposals this week that could determine when exactly we will move, but right now it looks like Carter will be moving July 15, Kerry and the kids will arrive a month later, followed by the Jukanovich family after my brother's wedding in late September. Dano will probably need to make another trip or two before we move depending on how our proposals are received.

Many of our friends have asked what an incbator is. We hope our new name will describe our purpose more clearly. Muhabura means
"the guide" in Kinyarwanda. A venture firm invests in companies. We are investing our time and talent and potential financial investments into high-impact Rwandan ventures. We believe that in helping companies grow and succeed, that more people will be lifted out of poverty through the creation of capital and employment. We want to help people's dreams come true. Partners - many firms invest financial resources into foreign companies, but few get down in the trenches with the leaders of these companies on a day to day basis, helping them think strategically about where their company is heading and navigating the day to day challenges of a small business. We are committing the next 3-5 years to do so.

We are creating a business, but we are also asking friends and family to help us get to Rwanda. With airfare, 6 months rent (you have to put down in order to get a modest place), and shipping costs, we need $25K per family. Bridge2Rwanda has offered to accept these donations on our behalf - http://www.bridge2rwanda.org/donate/ just enter our names in the "other" section.

We are revising our prospectus this week. If you're interested in receiving a copy, please email me at jennifer@jukanovich.com.

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