In 2011, Rwandan produce supplier Eden Harvest provided the IFC-invested Serena Kigali Hotel with over $190,000 of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sixty percent of this produce was local and sourced almost exclusively from women farmer associations. Run by Berta Kabuto as a “completely values-based business,” Eden Harvest has gradually increased the amount of fresh produce sold to the hotel over the past six years.
Berta started her career as a teacher in Kenya but wanted to be an entrepreneur. She worked in Uganda as the only English-speaking street trader before returning home to Rwanda and setting up Eden Harvest. Berta now employs six people for her Serena Kigali operation – including orphans whom she has adopted and an HIV-positive porter.