OPEN TO ALL COLUMBIANS
Social Entrepreneurship in Rural Communities: Breaking Generational Cycles of Poverty
Facilitated by Elizabeth Dettke ’19CSSW
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Refreshments included with RSVP
Uris Hall, Room 329
New York, NY
In 2014, Elizabeth Dettke and Christine Nyirahabimana started a social enterprise bakery in Rwanda, hiring 10 HIV positive single mothers as their employees. The business was an immediate success and after six months, all employees were able to double their monthly incomes. However, starting a business is no easy task. During a drought, they had to temporarily cease operations due to rising commodity prices. Even more devastating was that the business lost 3 of its employees to AIDS. These would be difficult setbacks for any start-up, but Christine and Elizabeth are determined to make their social enterprise sustainable.
This workshop will discuss how to make a micro social enterprise profitable and viable. It will focus on the importance of staff development, capacity building, and knowledge transfer. How does one ensure a small business in a rural setting has the necessary tools to thrive? For how long and to what extent is outside funding helpful and necessary? The Duterimbere Bakery hires women who have been historically marginalized from their communities. What type of support do such initiatives need from a policy and market perspective?
AREAS FOR DISCUSSION
- How do you make a micro social enterprise sustainable?
- How do you scale a micro social enterprise in a rural community?
Elizabeth Dettke is a Masters candidate at Columbia University’s School of Social Work where she majors in social enterprise administration and minors in business. She completed her undergraduate studies in foreign affairs and French at the University of Virginia and served in the Peace Corps in Rwanda where she supported the launch of the women-run social enterprise, the Duterimbere Bakery.
Thereafter, she worked for the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee before joining DAI’s (Development Alternatives Incorporated) business development team. DAI was voted best social sector consulting firm in 2017 and is one of the United States Agency for International Development’s largest implementing partners. The work took Elizabeth to Afghanistan, Tunisia, and Madagascar where she worked on 5 to 60 million-dollar proposals for donor-funded projects in private sector development, livelihoods, conservation, service delivery, and decentralization.
Spark Workshops provide social entrepreneurs with an opportunity to explore resources, connections, and potential solutions to help their social ventures. These workshops tap into the collective knowledge within Columbia University and the larger entrepreneurial and social impact community.
Workshops are open to all who are willing to bring their ideas, experience, and connections to help solve social and environmental challenges that these social innovators aim to address.