Goldman Sachs

10,000 Women Initiative

Since 2008, Women for Women International and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women have partnered together to support promising women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda, where eligible graduates of Women for Women International have gone on to receive in-depth business and management training and access to mentors through the 10,000 Women program.

We are proud to be one of the first 10,000 Women partners, as this program has allowed us to continue and expand the life-changing education and economic empowerment opportunities to the women we serve. Together we recognize that investments in women are investments in the broader communities and local economies and work to build more stable, peaceful societies. Women for Women International has long worked to raise the voices of women throughout the world, and as one of the largest corporate investments in women's empowerment, Goldman Sachs added a new and compelling voice to the campaign when they launched the 10,000 Women initiative in March 2008.

10,000 Women is helping to increase the impact of our efforts - by not only helping to build our capacity to reach more women in the field, but also linking our programs to expand the pipeline of support available to these women.

10,000 Women has also been a key supporter of Women for Women International's Annual Awards Gala, each year presenting the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award to an outstanding joint-program graduate who has made a remarkable transformation in her life and community.

Graduates honored over the past five years include:

2008 - Honorata Kizende, Democratic Republic of the Congo
2009 - Julienne Kitumaini M'Kasamira, Democratic Republic of the Congo
2010 - Marie M'bukirane Bukirane, Democratic Republic of the Congo
2011 - Euphrasie Mukanyarwaya, Rwanda
2012 - Francoise Tumukunde, Rwanda


Meet Francoise

2012 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award Honoree

goldman sachs
Francoise at the WfWI 2012 Annual Awards Gala.

Francoise Tumukunde is a 47-year-old self-employed tailor from the Kicukiro District of Rwanda. She is a mother of three and a widow of the 1994 Genocide. We celebrate Francoise's achievements as both a 2012 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Graduate and a 2011 Women for Women International (WfWI) Program Graduate.

This is her story:

During the 1994 Genocide that took her husband, Francoise fled with her two children to take refuge in Rwanda's southern province. Upon returning home, she discovered that her parents, four brothers, and three sisters had been killed. She was alone, left to care for her children with no job and no home.

From a subsequent relationship with a man infected with HIV/AIDS (who later passed away), Francoise gave birth to a third child who contracted the disease along with Francoise. Though they are HIV positive, both are taking medicine and have been able to remain active.

Francoise was first introduced to WfWI while attending a support group to enable women to build small businesses. Francoise enrolled in the tailoring vocational track at WfWI, building on her background in sewing.

"The vocational course enabled me to acquire different skills in the tailoring business, such as cost cutting, making other products like baskets and dresses, and how to use scraps of cloth instead of wasting them. I also learned how to manage my own expenses to be able to plan ahead through resources such as record keeping."

goldman sachs
Francoise working in her tailoring shop.

With her new skills, Francoise decided to join fifteen others to combine resources and rent a market space. She pays 10,000RF ($16)/month to cover costs of a night security guard and cleaning services.

When asked about her business, Francoise expressed her happiness, "I have no reason to complain as I am able to pay for rent, school fees, medical expenses and food." Her services are in such high demand that she has little to time to complete her orders.

goldman sachs
Francoise accepting the 2012 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award.

To build on her success as a tailor, Francoise enrolled in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program, a five-year global initiative to drive economic growth and opportunity by providing 10,000 underserved women with a business and management education. Since graduating from the 10,000 Women program, Francoise has developed a new confidence enabling her to penetrate new markets and implement systems to more efficiently manage her customer's orders. She has also learned how to secure bank loans and how to make on-time payments.

"My life condition was not good. In 1994, I lost my husband and remained alone to raise my children without any assistance. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women enabled me get connected with other women in different sectors to exchange ideas and get out of solitude. Through WfWI, in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, I am able to make money and feed my kids every day."

"I thank Women for Women International for the training I acquired and, up to now, they never stop being close and giving us more knowledge."

Francoise attended the 2012 Women for Women International Annual Awards Gala in New York City to accept the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award.

Meet Euphrasie

goldman sachs
Euphrasie accepting the 2011 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award at the WfWI Annual Awards Gala.

Euphrasie Mukanyarwaya is 50 years old and is married with 5 children; 3 girls and 2 boys. This is her story:

"I have never had a happy marriage for my husband used to beat me throughout my life. One time when I was pregnant with my first child, he beat me using all his strength until I had a miscarriage. I have a scar from being chased in the street in broad daylight which made me fall on a stone and hurt myself. My husband continued hurting me with his insults and his words. Because he was the one providing for the family, he kept on repeating to me that I should be fed like a bird. All of this happened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where we used to live before coming back to Rwanda."

After the 1994 Genocide, like all refugees, we returned to Rwanda. I tried to look for assistance from one church where I was being given 15.000 RWF ($25.00) every four months, but this could not sustain me or allow me to fulfill the responsibilities of maintaining my family.

Later, in 2006, a lady who worked in the sector approached me and asked me to enroll with Women for Women International. I was happy to have such an opportunity. I wanted to learn a skill that would sustain me economically. In the same year, I was enrolled.

During the life skills training, the trainer talked of how to fight for your rights and she gave an example of a woman who is always beaten. I felt moved to transform and fight for my rights. The trainer continued saying that without a husband, one can survive. This encouraged me to acquire a skill and use it as a tool to survive. I was enrolled in beadwork training at Women for Women International.

During the beadwork training, I walked hills to all the way from Gacuriro because of my desire to be there. I could also make a necklace and walk in town to look for a buyer. In the process, I opened an account and savings, which assisted me a lot. In the group we used to save 3.000 RWF ($5.00) and take home 5.000 RWF ($8.50). This is what I used to open up my account. At the end of the program in 2007, the money I had saved amounted to 60.000 RWF ($101.00). All this time, I survived on selling necklaces. Then the time came when I decided to apply for a loan. The loan was used to construct my house, in the land I had acquired through the local authority. The loan was met for I was employed by Women for Women International for a period of three months. This assisted me in paying the loan along with selling necklaces. In 2010 I got approximately 1.300.000 RWF ($2,192) through the orders from Women for Women International that were given to a cooperative (Inkuge) where I am a secretary. Apart from my house, I have two more houses at the roadside that were constructed through other orders. They provide me rental income each month.

goldman sachs
Euphrasie displaying her handicrafts.

Later, I was informed by Women for Women International about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program and I applied; luckily I was enrolled. During the training I met prominent business people, and I studied with them. I went through many topics that I will apply to train others and improve my career. I don't know how to thank Women for Women International staff for the input and motivation that helped me to reach this standard and I thank Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women for the business and management training I acquired, and assure that this will be applied professionally in my business and also to train other women."

Euphrasie was asked whether or not her husband had changed after seeing her progress. Euphrasie answered that she decided to bring back her husband who lost his job. He has not changed. They live in separate rooms but still he insults her. Earlier, Euphrasie reported him to the local authority when he tried to beat her after she had brought him back to the house. Now, he has stopped beating her because she and the children have threatened to report him if he dares to do so.

Euphrasie opened her own shop after graduating from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program. One year later, she has moved her business to the center of town where she could acquire more customers. She has also learned additional skills and diversified her products to increase revenue.


About 10,000 Women

goldman sachs
Click here to view this video on the Goldman
Sachs YouTube Channel.

Launched in March 2008, 10,000 Women is a $100 million, five-year campaign to foster greater shared economic growth by providing 10,000 underserved women around the world with a business and management education. The program is founded on research conducted by Goldman Sachs, the World Bank, and others which suggests this kind of investment can have a significant impact on GDP growth. Research also suggests that such an investment in women can have a significant multiplier effect that leads not only to increased revenues and more employees for businesses, but also healthier, better-educated families, and ultimately more prosperous communities.

The program operates through a network of more than 80 academic and non-profit partners, and has reached more than 7,000 women across 42 countries.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women is helping to increase the impact of Women for Women International's efforts - by linking our two programs to expand the pipeline of support available to these women, and by helping to build Women for Women International's capacity to reach more women in the field.