Our Entrepreneurs

Fowler Education

Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes

A few days after graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2006, Elizabeth moved to Rwanda to volunteer with grassroots education projects. In 2008, she co-founded the Akilah Institute with her husband, Dave Hughes. Elizabeth was named one of “The 5 Most Powerful Women Changing The World With Social Entrepreneurship” by Forbes Magazine, and Newsweek recognized Elizabeth as one of the “125 Women of Impact.” Elizabeth’s passion is scaling personalized and affordable higher education in emerging markets. 


The Akilah Institute is the only women's college in Rwanda. Akilah’s mission is to educate future leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a lens of opportunity and sustainability. 


Opened in 2010, Akilah offers accredited programs in Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, and Hospitality Management. Akilah graduates have a 90% job placement rate and earn more than 5x the national average. Akilah will launch in Uganda in 2019.

From Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes and Fowler Education

Pitch Video & Essay

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.