Alumnae Profile: Ritha Tarimo

November 18, 2019

Like so many of the individuals in the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative, Ritha Tarimo is a superwoman: a mother, an executive, an author, an advocate, a mentor, and an entrepreneur. 

When she applied to join AWEC’s first cohort, Ritha, a native of Tanzania, was weary of the limitations of traditional structures and society that only allow women to advance so far. 

“When I saw the opportunity to be part of a powerful platform that would allow me to learn from experts [and] also from fellow businesswomen going through the same path, I knew this was the right opportunity for me.” she said.  

Shaping Minds

As an expert on human capital development and a devoted mother, it is no surprise that Ritha combined those two passions to create her business, Little Stars Academy

Based in Arusha, the school’s mission is to provide a safe space for children to learn and express their truest selves. Little Stars Academy embraces a diverse student body, leverages technology to enable learning, and supports women’s economic empowerment through employment opportunities.

With the business knowledge she gained in AWEC, Ritha gained a business partner and earlier this year, broke ground on a new school building that will enable Little Stars Academy to double the number of students it can serve each year, from 150 to 300.

Network Effect

Reflecting on the year she spent as a member of AWEC’s first cohort of 200 women entrepreneurs from across Africa, Ritha describes the Leadership Summits and the applied assignments as the most powerful elements of the AWEC program. She appreciated that the monthly assignments and team projects “allowed room for research and clear analysis of my business, [which] was very practical for me.”

At the Summit, “we felt safe enough to be vulnerable and share our challenges” with each other and co-create solutions. This face-to-face bonding time enabled Ritha and her fellow cohort members to see how “we are moving forward together – not as individuals, but as a group.”

Creating a true cooperative – in which members both give and receive, while helping each other to achieve a common goal – is at the heart of AWEC.

Enabling Others Like Ritha

“AWEC is transformational and builds the confidence and network for women to empower their own communities,” Ritha testified. “The knowledge and experience gained at AWEC has transformed my perspective towards life and the ripple effect is real. I urge people, organizations and foundations to support AWEC. This platform is changing the narratives and re-writing the history of women.”

Help AWEC to empower more entrepreneurs like Ritha and change Africa’s future through women-led entrepreneurship. Please consider making a donation here to support AWEC’s mission. 

AWEC is a 100% donor-supported program operated through The Center for Global Enterprise, a US-based nonprofit organization. All donations go directly towards the AWEC program, ensuring that African women entrepreneurs continue to grow their businesses and improve their communities.


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