BRAVING THE WORLD OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
RUBENS MUKUNZI & WEDI
When Rubens Mukunzi arrived in Buffalo from Rwanda in 2013, he couldn’t imagine being able to start a business or continue in his profession of journalism. Yet with assistance from Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), he launched a multilingual/multicultural, refugee and immigrant focused newspaper, Karibu News.
As a newcomer, “I had to learn everything,” Rubens acknowledges. “How to speak English, the culture, customs, values, and how to get connected with the community.”
One of the objectives of Karibu News is to link and integrate the thriving, ever-growing immigrant community with the rest of Western New York. “We aim to make WNY natives aware of the obstacles faced by the refugee and immigrant communities, as well as informing them about available services.”
THANKS TO WEDI
Rubens may have been a successful journalist in Rwanda, but he was not a business person, which made it even more challenging to venture into entrepreneurship. “I really appreciate the guidance I received from WEDI,” he says, “and all the people who helped open my eyes and open the door for me to start this newspaper.”
“I really appreciate the guidance I received from WEDI, and all the people who helped open my eyes and open the door for me to start this newspaper.”
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
As a general rule, entrepreneurs think about the next great idea, seeking solutions that don’t yet exist. For Rubens, the idea was to start a unique multilingual and multicultural paper as a tool of communication for new Americans and locals. Today Karibu News is a unique paper with six employees, publishing both print and online versions in different languages.
His advice for new entrepreneurs: “Don’t be scared and don’t give up. There will always be people who are ready to help you succeed. Doing business today is very competitive, and many entrepreneurs think that competition is a plague. But when you start, try to see competition as a good challenge.”