Arthur Karuletwa is a social entrepreneur passionate about poverty reduction initiatives through coffee and other agricultural commodities.
He is a Partner and CEO of Arise Coffee Farmers, a Family Tree Farms subsidiary, leading a bold vision of using innovative platforms to build a vertically integrated value chain that brings the farmer and consumer to the forefront of humanized digital transactions. He is also Founder and CEO of Stori Coffee Company; a consumer facing omni-channel roasting company.
Arthur discovered his love for coffee over 19 years ago while pursuing his degree in Business Marketing, and International Business minor. His journey in coffee began at a green coffee classification, distribution and sample roasting facility in Seattle, Washington as an intern. He then moved to Proctor and Gamble’s Millstone Coffee, where he managed Pacific NW wholesale distribution channels.
10 years after the 1994 genocide, he returned to his native home, Rwanda, to play a role in the socio-economic recovery in a post genocide era.
Under the Ministry of Agriculture, specifically, the Rural Sector Support Project – an IMF funded initiative, he led the strategic plan to revamp the otherwise commodity low grade Rwanda coffee sector, into the specialty market. Here, he learned about the need for poverty reduction mechanisms through agriculture (Rwanda’s economic backbone), to reconcile a nation once divided by the atrocities of a horrific past. This elevated the concept to co-develop a mechanism to enhance transparency in the coffee supply chain utilizing mobile technology to build an end to end traceability
In 2005, Arthur co-founded the first Rwandan coffee roasting and retail establishment called Bourbon Coffee, becoming the first specialty coffee company in the country. This work was featured as Top 20 Investment Ideas on CNN Money in Africa.
In 2008, Arthur then joined the ideation and development of Rwanda Trading Company, a green coffee exporting and importing company founded by Westrock Coffee based in Little Rock, AR and Rwanda, as the Vice President of Green Coffee Procurement.
In 2010, he became a consultant for Starbucks Coffee Company as the East African Adviser and Strategist, which, after two years, led to a role as the Director of Global Coffee, Cocoa and Tea Traceability and Origin Experience.
Arthur is also a 2009 Legatum Fellow at MIT-Massachusetts Institute of Technology.