2011 Corporate Philanthropy
Sonu Ratra has always been passionate about supporting women professionals. Her dedication developed at an early age thanks to the guidance and positive reinforcement her own mother provided.
While Sonu leads Akraya’s charitable initiatives, her best success has been mentoring Rwanda businesswoman Joy Kabera through the Institute of economic empowerment for Women’s Peace Through business Program. The institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women to grow their businesses, pursue greater entrepreneurial ventures, and become more active public policy advocates.
Women entrepreneurs in war torn countries like Afghanistan and Rwanda spend three weeks in class learning business basics, and then take that information and transfer it into ‘real’ life under the guidance of American women entrepreneurs.
Sonu Ratra became the mentor of Joy Kabera, a female business owner from Rwanda who founded her fledgling promotion merchandising business only a few years earlier. Joy applied to Peace through business to learn how to grow and market her business.
Sonu brought Joy to the Akraya office for a full week’s training on how to successfully brand, market and grow her business. Joy learned accounting, HR, sales and marketing best practices. Akraya’s marketing team even helped Joy register her own website and build a professional presence on Facebook.
Sonu initiated conversations with the marketing departments of companies like Google, Safeway and Chevron, and explained her involvement in the PTB program. They invited Joy and Sonu to their offices where they discussed how to export her products to the United States and the importance of branding. Joy continues to be a role model for other Rwandan women and pass on the knowledge that she learned from her time with Sonu.
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