Our Entrepreneurs

Fowler Education

Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes

Elizabeth moved to Rwanda in 2006 after graduating from Vanderbilt University. Shortly after arriving, she started a nonprofit to support an orphanage in Kigali. After witnessing the lack of opportunities for women in higher education and the workforce, Elizabeth developed the idea for the Akilah Institute with her husband Dave Hughes. Opened in 2010, the Akilah Institute is the only women’s college in Rwanda, and it offers accredited programs in Entrepreneurship, Information Systems, and Hospitality Management. Ninety percent of Akilah graduates launch their careers within 6 months of graduation and earn 12x the national median income. Akilah also has a campus in Burundi, which is temporarily closed due to the recent instability. Elizabeth has two daughters, Lorraine and Tamsyn.

Through our schools and technology platform, Fowler Education is equipping the next generation of African professionals for the 21st century workforce. The Akilah Institute is a network of women’s colleges offering a unique model of competency based education diplomas and short courses. The Hekima Institute offers executive education and corporate training to professionals across East Africa. MindSky.com, our first technology platform, is an online talent marketplace and recruitment platform that makes it easy for African professionals to find and apply for their dream jobs.

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