We work in South and North Kivu
Two provinces in the east of DRC that in combination equal the size of England
and are more than four times the size of Rwanda
The region is known for it’s beautiful lakes, volcanoes and mountains, it’s high value cash crops such as coffee and of course it’s wealth of minerals including gold, tin, coltan and tungsten.
The main cities of Bukavu and Goma each have a population close to 2 million. The region as a whole is approaching 20 million people. Its size and wealth potential, together with its proximity to neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, mean that Kivu is of strategic importance to DRC and the wider region.
The first and second Congolese wars were centred in Kivu leading to the death of millions of people, and the insecurity continues today. But it is the grinding poverty that we are working to address.
More than 80% of the people live on less than $1.25 a day, defined as the threshold for extreme poverty. There is barely any electricity, the dirt roads are often impassable and healthcare for most is unaffordable.
We believe that entrepreneurship and innovation can play a key role in breaking the systemic cycles of poverty and insecurity. It’s made harder by heavy taxation and red tape and a lack of local manufacturing which has opened the door to a flood of cheap imports.
Even so, we are seeing the growth of a community of young entrepreneurs who want to take an active role in changing the future for their family, their community and their country as a whole.
Our work is a direct response to their need for support and from our base in Bukavu, South Kivu we have invested in emerging entrepreneurs and social businesses in Bukavu, Goma, Idjwi Island, Nyangezi, Kavumu, Mudaka and on the Rusizi Plain.