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Investment Fund to Raise $20m to Boost Women Businesses

by Kalinda Brenda
2:18 pm

Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the chairperson of New Faces New Voices (NFNV) Rwanda

Limited access to finance has for long been a major hindrance to success for women entrepreneurs. However, an all-women investment fund, ‘Rugori Digital Fund’ has another plan.

New Faces, New Voices‘, a Pan-African advocacy group that focuses on expanding the role and influence of women in the financial sector created Rugori Digital Fund.

This fund pools savings of retail women investors and invests for a return on money and capital market both in Rwanda and the region.

‘Rugori Fund’ targets to raise $20 million under this window which will be invested primarily in women owned businesses and other businesses advancing women.

Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the chairperson of New Faces New Voices (NFNV) Rwanda said on Friday that the fund has already been registered with the capital markets authority.

People can start registering for the fund and in two weeks the fund will be open for people to activate their registration.

“The fund is contributing to the Kigali declaration. It provides appealing and relevant content not only to women but we are going to put a special focus on women,” Monique Nsanzabaganwa said.

All it takes to become a member of ‘Rugori Fund’, (http://www.nfnv.rw/register) you must simply be connected to a smart mobile phone or web where you can self-register with the fund and receive a unique registration ID.

Meanwhile, there are two segments in ‘Rugori Fund’, a private equity and a short term investment fund. Women who will be investing in short term will be given an interest of 8%, while those seeking loans to finance their businesses will be offered an interest not less than 12%.

According to ‘Rugori Fund’ statistics, about 3.4 million women above 16 years and 87% of them are financially included but the bad news is that 24% are included under informal financial systems, but will be brought on board through the digital platform.

“In the second leg of the fund, we are going to use the interactive system to provide digital skills, financial and business skills on the platform,” Nsanzabaganwa said.

“Startups and already existing businesses will be among beneficiaries, especially women in ICT, once we start the equity and debt part of the fund- and that is going to be sooner than later, ” she added.

Although ‘Rugori Fund’ was established two months ago, their ambition is to have significantly contributed to lifting one million of Rwandans out of poverty through putting financial means in the hands of women.

At least 30,000 Rwandan women will have completed business literacy training and 50% of them applying it in their business activities within five years.

They also plan to have other 3,000 women connected to markets through “She Trades”, a platform that will connect them to more than 5000 traders from across the world.