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Business and Economic Empowerment: Stories from Women of Rwanda

Professor Paula Herring

This presentation will recount the results of interviews with 20 Rwandan businesswomen, the purpose of which was to gather their definitions of business, descriptions of their daily work practices, and their successes, challenges, and accomplishments, all as related to post-genocide culture. Through this qualitative research, seven themes emerged: (1) the meaning of business; (2) optimism, passion, and fulfillment; (3) the influence of President Paul Kagame; (4) Rwandan government and national pride; (5) safety and freedom from physical harm; (6) unity, collaboration, and helping others; and (7) empowerment in action. These themes clearly demonstrated that Rwanda’s women are creatively involved in a post-colonial, post-genocide Rwanda.

Instructor: Paula Herring is Faculty Chair and Professor of Business at DeVry University. She and her husband helped to start an orphanage in Rwanda. She serves on the board of directors of Survivors of Torture International and the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. Herring earned her EdD degree in Leadership and Social Justice and has led several study-abroad trips to Europe.

Coordinator: Eileen Coblens

Course Number: OSHR-70026   Credit: 0 units


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