Inkomoko has recently appointed Diane Feza, a refugee entrepreneur from the Kigeme refugee camp in Rwanda, to its Advisory Board. This marks a significant milestone for Inkomoko, as it is the first time the organization has included a refugee client in its advisory board. The move is a crucial step towards promoting inclusivity and diversity within the organization.
“I was excited but also nervous once I received the news. I kept questioning why I was chosen and how it would go. I recognize the importance of having a refugee entrepreneur on the board of Inkomoko as I will also serve as a bridge between refugee entrepreneurs and the Inkomoko management team and advocate for more and better services to entrepreneurs,” said Diane.
Diane, a refugee from Democratic Republic of the Congo, started a small business in 2015 in the Kigeme refugee camp in southwestern Rwanda after realizing that depending solely on food ration funds would not be sufficient to meet the needs of her family of four. Soon thereafter she became an Inkomoko client. In the beginning, Diane grew her business slowly, attending skills training courses and successfully repaying an initial loan of RWF 2,000,000 (approximately $2,000 USD).
Over the years, Diane’s business and ambitions have grown. What started out as a small shop has grown into a large retail and wholesale business. Today, Diane is one of the main food suppliers in the camp, as well as in the surrounding community. She also ventured into agribusiness and has a network of mobile money agents, which helps other refugees access needed financial products. To date, she has accessed 5 Inkomoko loans which she repaid successfully and is now onto her 6th cycle.
Diane’s businesses employ 27 people and have offered her family greater opportunities. Diane bought land and moved out of the camp. She now sits on the Inkomoko’s Rwanda Advisory Board and provides guidance from her lived experience on the growing financial needs of refugees in Rwanda. Diane’s appointment to the advisory board is a testament to Inkomoko’s commitment to promoting inclusivity in all aspects of its mission.
By including a refugee entrepreneur in its advisory board, Inkomoko hopes to improve its services and continue championing the promotion of entrepreneurship among refugee entrepreneurs across East Africa. The organization is confident that Diane’s appointment will help create a more inclusive and diverse environment that will benefit all clients, regardless of their backgrounds.