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Rwanda Grooms Innovative Startups for Big Business

by Daniel Sabiiti
10:36 pm

RSE session at KLab

Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) has pursued its program of educating young entrepreneurs about stock listing to secure future entry of small and medium companies on the bourse trading platform.

Led by RSE CEO Celestin Rwabukumba, stock experts on Wednesday held a listing forum with Techpreneurs at KLab to prepare them for possible ways of becoming potential investors on the local stocks.

RSE plans to launch a SMES stock listing platform in March 2018 and 100 companies will be selected for the listing of which qualifying ones will be listed officially.

This is as a result of a recent relaxation of regulations to allow companies with less than Rwf500 million in capital to come on board.

“Tech startups can in future become investors on the stocks but they need to be showed how this journey can be made,” Rwabukumba told KT Press in a phone interview.

Rwabukumba said that it was realized that there is a cluster of the economy that cannot access long term finance hence a choice to create the SME segment to reach out to those companies

Several Kigali based techpreneurs attended the session which was aimed at opening their innovative business ideas.

Joseph Munyaneza, an Investment and Capital market professional said that restrictions of capital should not be a stumbling block but determination.

K-Lab, a government funded open space incubation center for IT entrepreneurs, produces more than 250 projects annually.

In 2015, however, only 10 of them attracted funding but many still face the challenge to raise initial capital despite having innovative ideas.

However, in 2016 government approved $100 million fund to cater for bankable ideas that cannot get financing from commercial banks or capital ventures.

As of today, Rwanda’s bourse has eight companies currently trading with Kenyan based entities dominating the counters – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Equity Group Rwanda (EQTY), Uchumi supermarket (USL), and Nation Media Group (NMG).

Rwandan companies include Bank of Kigali (BK) Bralirwa (BLR), new entrants Crystal Telecoms (CTL) and I&M Bank Rwanda (IMR).

In the meantime the RSE stock index and all shares index today went down 0.08 and 0.01 point then closed at 132.39 and 133.05 respectively with CTL facing a slight hit to drop by one franc on its shares after several weeks of maintaining Rwf64 share cost.