December 31st, 2018

As 2018 ends, the Duterimbere Bakery wants to thank you for your support! Christine, the bakery’s manager and CEO has put in an incredible amount of effort to lay the foundation for a sustainable and socially conscious business to flourish. The bakery is on a clear path to becoming a strong social enterprise- the first of its kind in the community of Zaza.

This Fall, Christine participated in a Bakery Operations Manager Training, a comprehensive program run by The Women’s Bakery (TWB) that equips managers to run and operate bakeries. With 75+ hours of training, Christine learned every aspect of managing a bakery, including baking, inventory, production, sales, marketing, human resources, and tools for accounting. At the end of the course, she completed a comprehensive exam to ensure readiness for her managerial role.

To transfer Christine’s knowledge from her manager training, she went straight back to Zaza to support the first phase of training for her own employees. The women were instructed on business ethics, operations and new nutritionally fortified bread recipes. 

In November, Christine began construction on the new bakery building. A very exciting development for the Duterimbere team, that will enable them to bake the best bread possible and serve their widening customer base in a new café. Once the new building is complete, Christine will lead the second phase of her employees’ business training with a focus on company culture, human resources, operations, accounting, inventory, marketing and more advanced baking techniques as well as personal finance skills.

Since its launch in December 2017, Zaza Rising has been nominated in 9 film festivals worldwide in the United States, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Italy and Germany. The documentary has also been recommended and written up by the ONE campaign, Women’s Voices Now and UVA Today among other media outlets.

The bakery has also received attention at Columbia University through The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, which hosted two events at Columbia Business School, one of them featuring the Permanent Representative to Rwanda’s UN Mission, the Honorable Valentine Rugwabiza, as well as a representative from Acumen, a non-profit impact investment fund. The pro-bono consulting group Pangea from Columbia Business School visited Zaza in March of this year and supported Christine to develop a long-term marketing strategy and business plan (group pictured above).

The Duterimbere Bakery has come a long way thanks to your support and our partnership with TWB. Our re-launch in 2019 will feature not only a more educated staff, but an improved business model with Christine as the salaried CEO of a social enterprise, which values above all its social impact goals of empowering women and reducing the stigma of HIV/AIDS. The Duterimbere Bakery does not bake bread for profit, it bakes bread to create jobs for the most vulnerable women in its community.

With best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2019,

Elizabeth Dettke, Christine Nyirahabimana and the Duterimbere Bakery team