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The Westerwelle Foundation


The Westerwelle Foundation in cooperation with its partner the Evonik Stiftung opened the Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali powered by Evonik Stiftung in 2018 to foster economic growth for the region by supporting young entrepreneurs and creatin
new economic opportunities. The Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding with headquarters in Berlin, Germany was established in 2013 by Dr Guido Westerwelle, former German Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Ralph Dommermuth, CEO and Founder of United Internet AG.

The Foundation supports collaboration that transcends borders: between young entrepreneurs, executives and decision-makers from around the world. The Foundation globally connects people and ideas and creates spaces for interaction and innovation. We believe that entrepreneurship plays a key role in a country’s economic development and can be the main driver of job creation and income growth.

Photo: Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali, Westerwelle Foundation

The Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali opened in August 2018 intending to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rwanda by providing a place where different startups and stakeholders of the entrepreneurial
ecosystem can meet, exchange ideas, collaborate and expand their skill sets. Through partnerships and in-house programs, we offer a variety of services, workshops and events directly aimed at entrepreneurs and their needs to help them further grow their businesses. Partners include Evonik Foundation who are financing the project, Liquid Telecom who are providing fibreglass internet and Make IT Africa – GIZ who are financing the WSH Entrepreneurship Program.


Services


Open Work Space, Private Offices, a Makerspace, Skill Workshops & Trainings, Networking Events, the WSH Entrepreneurship program among others.

Activities

As of January 2020, we had over 178 members and over 54 startups and companies at the Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali. Currently, due to COVID measures, we can only host 50% of those startups. Additionally, we host also several startup tailored
events, any networking events that promote synergies for the startups.

Photo: Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali, Westerwelle Foundation

We launched the Westerwelle Startup Haus Entrepreneurship program (EP) where we already have three cohorts and 40 startups that have been part program, and the 4th cohort will start next month. The Program aims to assist start-ups operating
in Rwanda by providing access to quality infrastructure as well as tailor-made services to support their business growth through business Diagnostics, workshops in business & financial management, corporate governance, market research and leadership skills, market segmentation, competitor analysis, sales and marketing, and many other Team building events.


The Westerwelle Startup Haus Entrepreneurship Program is financially supported by Make IT Africa / GIZ.


You can read the full article in the Outsourcing Destination Guide Rwanda, which is available for free download at www.outsourcing-destinations.org


The author: Sarah Rukundo, Senior Manager, Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali. Sarah Rukundo is a communications expert with extensive experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. With a deep passion for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Rwanda’s ecosystem, Sarah works as a senior Manager at Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali. Sarah holds an MBA In Project Management from Oklahoma Christian University.



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