On September 19, 2016 we launched this project and so many of you graciously contributed to make Fina’s dream of opening a craft brewery in Rwanda a reality.
At the heart of the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project is owner Josephine “Fina” Uwineza, a Rwandan woman who is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Uwineza is a successful restaurateur in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali, where she opened the city’s first-ever Chinese restaurant. It became a go-to destination for tourists and the embassy crowd, and at one time, between her two popular restaurants, she had more than 50 staff employed.
Meet the partners behind this project – click here
April 2018 – Today we are letting you know that The Rwanda Craft Brewery Project will be undergoing a change of leadership. We have begun the process of recruiting new leadership for this project, and are exploring many avenues to find the right woman or group of women to seize this tremendous entrepreneurship opportunity. Click here for more details!
November 2017 – Check your mailboxes soon! Kickstarter rewards are starting to be fulfilled featuring the Kweza Brewhouse logo
September 2017 – The final logo design is unveiled! Official logo for Kweza Brewhouse Company (Kigali, RW), designed in Rwanda and overseen by Fina Uwineza.
June 2017 – Slight change of plans. The original plan was to put the brewery in downtown Kigali, but a combination of a change in city zoning regulations and the resulting increase in costs for downtown property made a change in plans necessary. The new idea is to make the brewery a destination location (much like Beau’s!), likely on the way to the airport.
February 2017 – A name was chosen. Fina begun working with another female entrepreneur in Kigali to develop the branding for the business. The Rwanda Craft Brewery Project was featured in National Geographic. Check out the full article – click here
December 2016 – Our co-founder Steve Beauchesne, CFO Tanya Beimers, Master Brewer Matt O’Hara, and head of Maintenance Paul Beaulieu along with Christian Riemerschmid von der Heide from Newlands Systems (NSI) went to Rwanda to help scout locations, learn about brewing with bananas, visit farming co-ops, and other foundational work to the business planning.
November 2016 – With your gracious support, the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project kickstarter was funded! Read the press release about The Rwanda Craft Brewery Project, and about the successful Kickstarter.
October 2017 – Breaking ground on 6-month building construction project of Kweza Brewhouse
January 2018 – Fina’s prospective brewers arrive at Beau’s for training program
April 2018 – Brewing equipment installation begins at Kweza Brewhouse
July 2018 – Grand opening! First brews available
Fina is a successful entrepreneur who is looking for more businesses that will benefit the local community in the city of Kigali, and will assist the women who are drivers of the private sector. She wants to create jobs and rebuild a strong economy in Rwanda to recover from the lingering effects of the civil war. In particular, she envisions that this project will help the less fortunate in the rural communities.
Two decades after the Rwanda genocide, women have emerged as the country’s nation-builders as creators of jobs, driving forces behind the establishment of a vibrant private sector. Rwanda has recently been ranked the Best Place to be a Woman in Africa, according to the Global Gender Gap Report, and ranked 6th overall in the world in terms of closing gender gaps. It is also one of the most encouraging and supportive places to be a woman entrepreneur in Africa. Rwanda is highly progressive in seeing entrepreneurship as a key driver for transformation, economic development and business growth in its country, particularly for women.
At Beau’s, we saw an opportunity to share our love and passion for great beer, as well as work on something that would have a legacy and a lasting positive impact. There are numerous branch-out opportunities for this project to create a ripple effect and be larger than the immediate people it involves, and that was exciting too.
Without further ado, here is the logo for Kweza Brewhouse Company, designed in Rwanda and overseen by Fina:
Official logo for Kweza Brewhouse Company (Kigali, RW), designed in Rwanda and overseen by Fina Uwineza.
Kweza is a Kinyarwanda word with two meanings: The first is ‘to ripen’ and the second is ‘to build someone up through compliments.’ It can also mean ‘to brighten.’ The logo is an encapsulation of the dual beer-making and community- building goals of Fina’s project. Notice the ripened tree resting within the palms of two hands – a symbol of development – being brightened by the sun behind it. We couldn’t be any more excited about the progress we’ve been making, all because of your contributions. Cheers!