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Just Curious: What is Agaciro and how are Mercer students involved with it?

In the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business, a class has been formed dedicated to building the Agaciro brand and selling the products.

MACON, Ga. — This report has been contributed by Dee Dee Cudjoe, a student from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

Alivera, Alice, Justine, Epephania, Ejeni, and Claudine. 

In a small town in Rwanda, these six women own a tailoring business handmaking bags and jewelry out of unique fabric patterns.

During a Mercer on Mission trip to Rwanda in summer 2021, the women were welcomed with an opportunity of a lifetime. 

Agaciro has become a nonprofit brand formed through partnership with Mercer University students and these women who live in poverty and have been impacted by the Rwandan genocide.

“We were able to meet them this past summer,” said Emma Drash, project manager for Agaciro. “And they told us about their dreams of being able to sell their products in America. Now, in America, we are the marketing team for these women to get their products in a new market.” 

In the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business, a class has been formed dedicated to building the Agaciro brand and selling the products. 

“With the products, we upscale them for more, ” said Jessica Walton, also a project manager for Agaciro. “Therefore, the women will get more of a profit, and we can make a difference in their lives.” 

In Feb. 2022, Agaciro was able to win $10,000 at The Southern Conference Entrepreneurship Challenge with their business pitch for the brand. 

“We’ll be able to use that money to get more inventory, update our inventory systems, and have more modern ways of doing things with marketing costs, so we can have more of an impact for the women,” said Drash.

On Mercer’s Macon campus, Agaciro students have held pop-up shops and events to showcase and sell the products. You can also order them at https://www.agacirorwanda.com

100% of Agaciro profits go back to the women in Rwanda. 

"Being able to know the people that you’re impacting really means a lot,” said Drash. “It’s not just ‘I know someone’s benefiting from it,’ you know exactly who is getting the benefit.”

“The mission of the school [Mercer] is to educate us, so we can go back and help the community. And helping the women in Rwanda, it goes back to that.” said Walton.

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