1) Rwanda

My team members and I cram into the back of a cab which seems to have been made before I was born as our boss Patrick haggles with the driver to lower the price in his native language of Kinyarwanda. We are about to take part in our first adventure into the budding community of entrepreneurship in Rwanda. The cab swerves through a fancier part of town near the president’s own residence and drops us off at the University of Rwanda Nyarugenge Campus.

We are met by the president of the entrepreneurship club who leads us up five flights of stairs into a room filled with maybe a hundred students. Everyone in the room stares as we take our seats. The meeting starts with a presentation by David a team member at the African Innovation Prize (AIP, The organization we are working with), followed by a business pitch from a member of the club, and then a celebration of members who won AIP’s business plan the previous year. The meeting concludes with the current president handing over the reins to his successor and finally we are given a chance to speak with the students.

I was amazed by how quickly they jumped out of their seats, walked over to me, and started pitching their business ideas. I heard many different business ideas which led to discussions about the strengths and weaknesses of the plans and my opinions on how to progress their ideas further. I was astonished by the fact that every idea I heard inherently had a social aspect, it seems that the Rwandan students truly understand the opportunity entrepreneurship has to address social issues. For example one student planned on creating a distribution system for banana based products (such as juice) to connect poor rural farmers to large supermarkets in the capital city of Kigali.

Being able to meet these enthusiastic students was an eye opening experience and makes me even more eager to continue working with AIP.DSCF3965.JPG



Once Redeye registered as a vendor for the VegFest, the internship was like a piece of dairy-free eggless cake (vegan joke).

I discussed product mix with Mark, Helen, and the other interns prior to the event; we followed up to assure preparation for the Vegfest. I met with Helen at Redeye before the festival to learn the POS and moneybox. Other interns and I collected supplies the day before the Vegfest and transported some items to the truck while we kept the remaining materials in personal safe places until the event.

On the day of the festival I woke up, packed my cooler with a bag of ice and met the interns at Cascades Park. I was kindly greeted at the entrance.

We received support from fellow students, family, and friends at the festival. The vegan community of Tallahassee is a compassionate subculture that we engaged with and expanded into the local market. Our presence marketed Redeye.

We achieved our vision with the use of utilities, funds, transportation and supplies provided by Redeye. Transportation was a factor that involved further training for driving the Redeye truck, executed by Britt Pendergrast. Our operation that day required us to be alert, flexible, optimistic and pleasant. We represented a business that exchanged our time and energy with experience and discipline in something we support.

The coffee creations at Redeye were modified to comply with the requirements at the Vegfest as well as Cascades Park’s Vending Regulations, which we agreed upon in the vendor application.

We were welcome and appreciated at the festival, which gave us certainty with our words and actions. I was supportive and able to share Redeye’s mission to the attendees and other vendors. I interacted with some incredible people who lived through our work, which was great to experience.

Each intern held his or her own responsibilities with pride and respect for Redeye. Individual outreach extended our personal growth, examination and improvement for our own lives and health.

If we could improve something from the Vegfest, I believe a larger assorted selection of goods would have benefitted Redeye’s profits. However, it is difficult to critique the occasion since we exceeded our predicted profitability.

I upheld the expected dependence of my position in the internship.

I learned the purpose of the internship is creativity and the objective is practical implementation of creativity.


As reviewed in the previous post regarding barista training meetings, the interns were provided with numerous opportunities to engage and acquire skills behind the bar at Element3 and Redeye’s Mobile Café.

It was an encouraging effort to contact associates and officials from Redeye. I was in direct contact with General Manger Helen Michael and artist Marjie Rolling. I learned a great deal from both women about Redeye’s mission and their business cycle. They market the direction of efforts in Redeye’s multiple locations, products and through effective means of interpersonal methods by verbal communication. I was lucky to have the pleasure of meeting and discussing their abilities and strategies.

Marjie Rolling is an artist who displays photographs in the Redeye Café. The pictures she mounted contain images from mission trips to Haiti and Guatemala that are supported by Redeye. Her photos are for sale and profits go towards more of Redeye’s missions.

Each intern proposed a work plan for an event where we would share our education and work.

The Annual North Florida Vegfest of 2016 at Cascades Park on March 20th was chosen to be the best event for the interns to take the mobile café. I made sure to RSVP to the festival on Facebook to share with friends where I would be that day.

I interacted with the interns to prepare professionalism through creative and receptive communication.

Our meetings on the mobile café with Mark and Zack provided us with an array of knowledge and skills collected from their advice and wisdom. We were trained to organize and arrange supplies in order to succeed replication of instructions for consecutive quality drinks and use of specific ingredients.


The attitude and abilities of Redeye come from employees, volunteers and members of Element3 Church and Tallahassee community. Redeye Coffee has mutually beneficial relationships with other establishments including, but not limited to, churches, hotels, and non-profit organizations. The secular community encourages Redeye’s good for Tallahassee.

The weekly meetings at Redeye in Midtown required the interns to engage in the environment where creation is apparent in the building while learning the evolvement to its current existence.

We were acquainted with several technological methods of communication such as Wrike and Google Drive. Assigned tasks posted in Wrike kept the interns up to date with current assignments and projects.

Mark taught the use of proformas and their role in projects and ventures that included planning, cost structure, revenue, profits, and sales. He prepared us to know what is important to Redeye so that we may apply these ideals to our contribution.

I worked with the other interns by means of regular communication and coordination of our individual schedules prior to meetings with Mark, Bruce and Scott. It was great to build teamwork amongst us. We were required to remain attentive to meeting times and future plans so that we were available when needed for the internship.

We were required to be creative and branch out in order to find methods to expand innovation.

It was a privilege to have multiple opportunities to be trained by the loyal Redeye employee, Zack, who kindly and patiently taught the interns how much care and quality of work that is expected of a Redeye barista. At the first barista training, the interns were hands-on with the brewing and concoction of drinks. My personal experience of crafting beverages provided a foundation of appreciation of the production. Once I learned about the products and resources that Redeye uses, I gained a greater appreciation for the business. It was enriching and satisfying to make coffee with environmentally responsible Fair Trade and organically shade-grown beans that are served in compostable or reusable cups. While the beans were grounded, I could picture the small farmers who are paid a fair price through certified cooperatives, which produced respect for the brewed coffee and myself. Net profits go to social impact where they try to accomplish with their net impact for humanitarian efforts.


I am an Interdisciplinary Social Science undergraduate student in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University; therefore, I recognize the importance and significance of such a dynamic social enterprise that is Redeye Coffee.

Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation is an emerging field of study in my college that I am honored with my involvement. My interest the foundations course in the study led me to this internship. I aspire to grow and learn within the Spring 2016 term and accept the influence of my studies as well as engage with the energy of others working within this internship and the field of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I was privileged throughout my development to travel and experience a variety of communities and cultures. This internship is a wonderful way for me to participate with a business that cares about its success for itself and others, which I admire about Redeye.

Redeye’s mission is to produce social good on a more effective scale. It is a socially innovative business that works within an organization that shares its efforts.

Redeye Coffee’s approach to business is that of a social enterprise.

The interns learned early in the internship about Redeye’s business model canvas that consists of planning, evaluation, and communities.

They combine their social mission with the structure of their business. They have an innovative approach to social problems that they direct their missions toward.

Redeye succeeds with their efficient, effective, and responsive goal to work within the Tallahassee community and direct their success toward global humanitarian work.

Mark’s McNees is confident for a significant successful business model that directs the production of goods and services locally and globally. He found an effective method to serve Redeye’s social missions.

From what I reviewed in Redeye’s business plan outline, the company’s history highlights the present and future core strengths and challenges of production control.

I am optimistic about the creation of socially innovative businesses like-minded to that of Redeye.