Rwanda will next month start a weeklong business campaign to create 5000 women and youth entrepreneurs who will drive the country to a middle income economy status by 2020.
The 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Rwanda this year will focus on empowering women and youth to make these two groups the bedrock for sustainable development.
GEW is an annual event organized under the Global Entrepreneurship Network with 170 countries taking part.
During the event, twenty-thousand entrepreneurs engage and inspire around 10 million people through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.
This year, GEW-Rwanda will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), from 9th to 16th of November. The event will see the launch of the first Pan African Women’s Accelerator (PAWA).
Fifteen Rwandan women entrepreneurs will be selected for a yearlong cohort mentorship programme, with the trainees receiving seed funding of between $5, 000-$10,000.
The week will tackle inclusive approach mainly for women entrepreneurs, access to funding from banks, mentorship for young entrepreneurs especially young women.
“The fifteen women will be selected out of thirty who will be presented by the Private Sector Federation. Using the Lean-In Business programme, a business monitoring software, the trainees will receive tangible skills to improve their business beyond their current level,” said Pamela Munyana the Country Director for Idea 4 Africa, the organizers of GEW event in Rwanda.
At the end of their one year mentorship and training the fifteen women will be presented at the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Congress, which will be held in August 2019 in Kigali.
With forty partners from Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, this year’s GEW-Rwanda is expected to create new avenues that will contribute to the government’s target of creating 1.5 million off-farm jobs in the next seven years.
Norette Turimuci, the Country Director of Resonate Rwanda- an organization that empowers women to shift mindsets, attain full potential, and turn skills into action, says that alongside access to finance, building confidence among women is the biggest challenge.
“We believe that self-confident women leaders can be a strong force for positive change, and addressing this challenge will open more doors for women as entrepreneurs,” Turimuci told KT Press.
According to statistics from International Finance Corporation (IFC) women in Rwanda contribute 30% of the GDP while female entrepreneurship accounts for 42% of enterprises.