This week, six exceptional Rwandan businesspeople have been awarded interest-free loans under the Bank of Kigali’s Urumuri programme, which was organised in collaboration with a nearby business consultancy organisation, Inkomoko Entrepreneur Development.
BK Urumuri is an interest free financing initiative that is aimed at enabling small and medium enterprises in Rwanda to become financially able so as to grow and impact on the country’s economy.
For six years now, Bank of Kigali has made it a priority to promote the upcoming generation of Rwandan business owners.
This year’s winners include Kimonyi Women Development Group, Holly Trust, Afia Group, Chameleon Resources, Family Pride Bakery, and House of Kanyana.
“Please expect challenges in your entrepreneurs, don’t accept to late that down. There are hudles of cash flow, getting tenders. But with patience and working hard there is success,” Richard Niwenshuti, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, who was the guest of honour, said.
“Establish those businesses. You have the government support, as it has been . You have got this opportunity to see your businesses growing, use it maximally,”
The winners of the year, who took home a combined Rwf25 million, were chosen in a fiercely contested interest-free loan competition that drew 25 businesses at first. This month, just ten candidates were chosen.
“We are very happy about this partnership with Bank of Kigali, which has supported entrepreneurs’ access to skills and capital in Rwanda. We congratulate all the winners and assure them of our continued support in their entrepreneurial journey,” Aretha Rwagasore, Managing Director of Inkomoko said.
“It is always good to see young entrepreneurs growing. This is what we have been doing for the past ten years, and we expect more,” she added.
After these businesses have completed a demanding six-month accelerator programme with Inkomoko, the bank grants them the financial assistance they require to realise their full potential.
The applicants come from a variety of industries, including, agribusiness, manufacturing, fashion, and hospitality.
“Starting business is not easy. It needs courage and commitment. We can advise you, train you. But everything starts with you. However, have a champion spirit, be patient and work at it every day. It is possible to succeed,”
The founder of Kimonyi Women Development Group and one of winners, Jeanne D’Arc Mukantabashwa, claimed that winning the competition would allow her to develop gradually. She has a horticulture farm and works on it with other 276 members.
“We worked on our project every day. We asked for advice from experts on a daily basis. We deserved the best. This money will be a positive push for the business development,” Mukantabashwa said.
“It will help us in increasing production but also looking for a market. It will improve our competitiveness on the market,” she added.
Darius Mukunzi, in Charge of Small and Medium Enterprises in Bank of Kigali said that the project is a turning point that began as an ideal, but since the bank launched its programme in 2017 to help people alter their lives financially, it has expanded its focus to include helping business owners stay relevant.
“Have a good health, excellence is achieved by healthy people and then focus. The projects were awarded because they are outstanding and represent a good future,” Mukunzi said.