Clarisse IribagizaMastercard Foundation 2021 - 2022
Clarisse founded HeHe Academy while studying at University after participating in a six-week MIT Global Startups Lab incubation program. Through this experience, Clarisse was able to connect the dots between what she was learning in school and how she could apply that to the real world. Hehe is an award-winning research and innovation do-tank focused on developing geo-location software for supply chain optimization to match demand and supply to create a perfect market. Rwanda’s technology ambitions and business-friendly environment have served as a launchpad for HeHe, which now serves over 2 million users across Africa offering solutions in mobility, agtech, and e-commerce.
Since founding Hehe, Clarisse has focused on creating vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems through mentorship, advocacy, and capacity building for technology entrepreneurs. Over the next five years, she hopes to extend that role to address the funding gap for early-stage innovative startups. Clarisse recognizes a critical need in the African startup market for patient capital and unconventional funding mechanisms that allow for experimentation and talent building to scale. She plans to use her experience and voice to be an advocate for innovative finance solutions.back