Received: The Biggest Check Ever!

Last Friday, Karisimbi Partners received its first client payment…. A check for over 2.8 million! I should quickly clarify that the check was written for 2.8 million Rwandan Francs (just $5,000 in US Dollars), but that should not depreciate the significance of this particular check. This was not only the first client fee received by Karisimbi Partners, in non-financial terms it may represent more than any check I’ve ever received.When I consider why this seems such a milestone to me and my partners, a number of reasons present themselves…

  • We were frequently told that “Rwandan businesses won’t pay our fees”
  • It is culturally normal to speak positive, even when there is no plan from prospective clients to follow-through
  • Rwandan business leaders do not easily part with their money
  • We are Westerners and many Africans expect Westerners to either write a check to them, or at least provide free services as a non-profit
  • I had met with this particular client more than nine times since last March (and exchanged countless e-mail and voice communications) to develop our relationship to this point
  • At this time, the Crocketts, Urquharts and Jukanovich’s had only been located together in Kigali for two weeks
  • A different client asked us to begin work without receiving any payment until the work was completed
  • This particular client has committed to engage our services on a significant level for at least the next two years
  • The Karisimbi Partners business model calls for client fees in order to be sustainable
  • What Karisimbi Partners is offering Rwandan businesses is fairly unique and new, hence frightening to some and hard to commit to for others
  • What began as a business concept in December of 2008 was validated by four Rwandan clients this week

There is great need here that fits what we do best….and the fact that clients are willing to pay for it suggests we may be afforded the privilege of doing it in a sustainable way for many ventures in the years to come.

Onward & Upward,
-Carter

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