This August, British endurance athlete John Gunn will attempt to run across the entire country of Rwanda.
In official partnership with the African Entrepreneur Collective, and with a photographer and filmmaker in tow, the team will spend one month running from the northern Ugandan border, across the ‘land of 1000 hills’ to the southern entry point into Burundi. During the run, they’ll be meeting and documenting the success stories of a collection of Rwanda’s most inspiring entrepreneurs.
The Objective of Run Rwanda is use the power of running to intimately document Rwanda’s impressive and unexpected journey of economic and social progression since the tragic genocide of 1994. The story of Run Rwanda will be told through the lens of the entrepreneurs who are leading and inspiring the country’s rapid development and transformation.
The run itself will take John 211 miles across a country that’s famous for its rolling hills and rainforest-coated mountains. He’ll run on average half a marathon a day in temperatures up to 30 Degrees Celsius, and the team will sleep and eat out in the wild.
Along the way, John will be meeting and spending time with local entrepreneurs across all 5 provinces of Rwanda. Visiting start-ups in tech, solar, manufacturing, eco-tourism, conservation and hospitality, John and the team will be exploring how these Rwandan pioneers are helping to create what’s frequently being described as the world’s first Entrepreneurial State.
John is hoping Run Rwanda will raise £10,000 for the African Entrepreneur Collective, helping them to offer continued support and guidance to local entrepreneurs.
Saucony, one of the world’s leading running brands, is currently supporting the Run Rwanda project. Donations can be made at: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/fundraisers/runrwanda/
An active member of the Inspired50 group in London, John is an accomplished long distance runner and adventurer, having completed 5 marathons and the infamous Marathon Des Sables, a 250km, self- supported run through the Sahara Desert.
Outside of running, he has successfully completed cold-water endurance swims, from Alcatraz in San Francisco and from Robben Island to Cape Town in South Africa. In May 2015 he led the first British relay team to take on the ‘world’s toughest marathon swim’ from the Farallon Islands to mainland California.
Frequently published in sports magazines and blogs, John has also spoken about his adventures at the Royal Geographical Society and at the Escape School in London.
To get in touch with John please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the African Entrepreneur Collective:
The African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) was founded in Rwanda in 2012, with the aim of partnering with young entrepreneurs to build their skills, expand their networks, and grow their businesses so that they may employ others. Since launch, the model has already helped to create over 1200 jobs.
With 200 million people aged 15 to 24, Africa has the youngest population in the world. And yet, 60% of all unemployed in Africa are youth.
Rwanda exemplifies both the challenge and the opportunity facing youth. Roughly 70% of the population is under 35 years old, and the majority of the population works in subsistence farming.
While private sector growth can create jobs for thousands of young people moving off farms each year, Rwanda’s private sector is currently dominated by small enterprises that employ just 1-2 people. While young people are motivated to create their own jobs through entrepreneurship, they often lack the skills, networks, and capital needed to grow their businesses to the size where they can create jobs for others.
AEC seeks to change that paradigm. Through capacity building, mentorship, advising, and access to affordable capital, AEC removes the barriers so that young people can lead the economic transformation of their countries.
For more information, please visit: http://www.africanentrepreneurcollective.org/#about