Entrepreneur, D’Amour, dreamed one day of opening a business within the Tourism and hospitality sector after years of travelling and staying in AirBnBs herself. In October 2019, her dream came true when Virunga Palace opened; a lovely bed and breakfast in Musanze, Rwanda.
“I thought Musanze was a touristic area with a lot of potential for the type of business I wanted to build, which is why I chose to open the AirBnB here.” D’Amour explains. However, shortly after opening, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the industry greatly, causing D’Amours to close her business temporarily.
As a resilient entrepreneur, D’Amour has done what it takes to help her business survive, “I adapted by focusing on fostering a different clientele and tailoring prices and services to Rwandans visiting musanze for meetings and business.”
After a couple of months, D’Amour came across Inkomoko where she participated in a three-day training that equipped her with more training and consulting tailored for her business to keep it running. “I learnt a lot from the training”, she said with a smile on. “I was really stressed and struggling because of COVID, but Inkomoko gave me knowledge and skills I needed to push through”, she further expressed. They taught me how to keep my business afloat through finance management and marketing. I really appreciate how they kept following up with me to ensure my business grows.”
“What I learned is working.” D’Amour says firmly. Her bed and breakfast is open and ready for customers to come and enjoy. The setbacks of the pandemic have not put restrictions on D’Amours entrepreneurial dreams; “In the future, I want to buy my own place so I can stop renting and refocus my finances. “I’ve already started construction, and it will also include a café!, she said, excited”
D’Amour is optimistic about the future and believes that the business training she received will allow her to open a branch in Kigali one day!