Adam Bradford looks back on first year in Rwanda

On 5 July 2023 at 03:02

After attending last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, social entrepreneur Adam Bradford says he was ‘compelled’ to move his business interests to Rwanda after experiencing the ‘welcoming, friendly atmosphere’ and ‘absolute commitment to social development.’

His agency, Adam Bradford Agency, has operated for over ten years from its base in the United Kingdom, but in recent years Mr Bradford says he was ready for a change.

"We’d been piloting some projects across Africa as part of our mission called Everyone A Changemaker. This was our commitment to share our business and enterprise skills and impact the youth in a way that met their needs, wherever they are in the world. We worked with some of the biggest institutions for education globally such as Pearson and developed toolkits and frameworks for enterprise education," noted Adam.

Adam also fiercely defends the governance and opportunities in Rwanda. Recently on a major British broadcaster’s television station he dismissed critics who branded Rwanda as unsafe and unfit for foreign migrants, in the ongoing debate over Britain’s deal with Rwanda to support those seeking asylum.

"Half of the people who make these throwaway comments have never visited Rwanda, or Africa even. Each one of the 54 countries of Africa has something different to offer. Rwanda offers stability, safety, opportunity and peace. I defy anyone to visit the country and not have the time of their life," he said.

Adam has spent the past year in the Northern mountainous town of Musanze, with his community efforts focusing on rural youth.

Adam and the Agency’s work is not just rooted in communities, his brand works with major corporations and multi-national investors.

"We are proud to have just launched a special investment group in Kigali, which will provide infrastructure support to special projects in key areas for investment such as technology, real estate and healthcare. We have renewed our commitment to support ambitious entrepreneurs with cash and support to lead the way from Rwanda," he added.

Inspired by his father’s battle with gambling addiction in England, Adam’s team have also been conducting research and activity on the continent to tackle the ever-growing societal issue of betting addiction.

The team brought one of the world’s leading harm minimisation consultancies to Rwanda to base their work combatting gambling harms over to the continent. Crucial Compliance, headed by industry veteran Paul Foster, now has a home in Rwanda thanks to Adam and his team and is starting to make inroads to base its own team from the country.

Paul, whose consultancy acquired Adam’s ‘BetProtect’ therapy app in an undisclosed deal in 2021, said: "We are creating a group of people who will support us going forward and have found the friendliness, ease of doing business and positive attitude from Rwandans a great asset in making the country our African home."

Currently, Adam’s story is the subject of a Hollywood production, which Adam is also co-producing.

His agent Stephen Watson commented; "He had a vision - and he’s done it.’ Filming has not yet begun on the continent but will begin to take place in coming months. As always, the production will be a community affair, involving local filmmakers, photographers, production crew and talent in its production and assembly."

The company plans to celebrate its first anniversary in Rwanda with a special event taking place on 10th August. More details can be found on the company website and will be publicised close to the time.

Last month, in Musanze, the company brought Sheffield-based entrepreneurs Andy Hanselman and Jill White from Andy Hanselman over to the country for a special edition of a 3D Leadership programme, which spanned three days, supporting young people to become creative thinkers and exceptional leaders. The programme was met with critical acclaim and there are plans afoot to expand it further in coming months and years, in collaboration with other Rwandan partners.

For now, Adam firmly has his sights set on making an impact in Rwanda and collaborating with locals, NGOs and government institutions to make a holistic difference; but using the principles of sustainability from business and enterprise to underpin everything.

The company is about to launch a number of new partnerships with charitable partners, after closing its year-long sponsorship of Rwanda Opportunities Organization in Nyabihu-district. A statement released by the company yesterday evening mentioned: "As our investment priorities change and we expand into new areas of our strategy, we close our partnership with RwandOpp.

Over the past year we have worked with them to host youth initiatives focused on rural development, skills training and entrepreneurship development. We hope our funding and support has set them on a continued path for the future."

Adam Bradford with brother Alex - CREDIT SWNS GLOBAL MEDIA
Last month, the company brought Sheffield-based entrepreneurs Andy Hanselman and Jill White from Andy Hanselman over to the country for a special edition of a 3D Leadership programme in Musanze.
The leadership programme was met with critical acclaim and there are plans afoot to expand it further.
Young people attending training in Musanze.