Home Business & TechCompanies ‘Ibere rya Bigogwe’, Former Journalist Among BK Urumuri Initiative 2023 Winners

‘Ibere rya Bigogwe’, Former Journalist Among BK Urumuri Initiative 2023 Winners

by Daniel Sabiiti
11:40 am

L-R: Shema Serge Shingiro of Wildlife , Conservation, Travel (WCT), Diodonne Niyodushima of Exodus Farms, Laure Bella Ange Izere of Ilba Products Ltd , Jackson Niyonkuru of Brisky Group Solutions, Yvonne Mukandayisenga of Jay Multi Services and Alexis Ngabo Karegeya of Ibere rya Bigogwe Tourism Company.

Six Rwandan youth entrepreneurs with business projects that promote a sustainable ecosystem have won the 2023 BK Urumuri Initiative interest-free loans worth Rwf30 million.

The top six were selected from 12 finalists who had pitched their business ideas to win the 7th edition of the BK Urumuri Initiative, an annual award organized by BK Foundation and Inkomoko Entrepreneur Development to empower innovative business projects with skills and access to funding.

The six winners were awarded differently depending on their projects. Three of them received 5 million Rwandan francs, two entrepreneurs received 3 million, and one entrepreneur received 4 million.

The winners are:

JAY Multiservice Ltd, a company that produces compact organic fertilizer by recycling kitchen waste from households and restaurants, incorporating red worms into the process.

Their fertilizer is sought after by cooperatives and large-scale farmers aiming to enhance soil quality and crop yield in an environmentally eco-friendly manner.

Partners at the awarding ceremony

Exodus Farm Ltd, (by Dieudonné Niyodushima, a former journalist) company which employs a scientific canning method to preserve the freshness and nutritional value of vegetables, with a focus on French beans also joined the six. Their technology not only minimizes food loss but also provides a convenient storage solution for the Rwandan market.

Also among the winners is ILBA Products, a company which excels in crafting natural hair care solutions from locally sourced agricultural waste. They bring to the market a sustainable range of products, including hair butter, scalp oils, shampoos, and conditioners, promoting healthy and eco-friendly management of natural hair.

Ibere Rya Bigogwe Ltd, a tourism enterprise pioneering tourism in the Bigogwe region and its surroundings also emerged winners. The company has developed a range of tourism products and services, encompassing ecological, cultural, educational, and adventure activities. By bringing these offerings to the market, they actively contribute to the growth of tourism in the region.

Meanwhile, Brisky Group Ltd, a company that converts recycled paper and cardboard into eco-friendly packaging materials, such as bags and envelopes also won the award following their potentials to contribute to waste reduction which is vital in environmental protection.

Also joining the six is Wildlife Conservation Travel WCT Ltd, a tourism company focusing on conservation-minded travel. It collaborates with travelers who actively contribute to environmental preservation by planting trees. This initiative supports the conservation and restoration of indigenous trees and wildlife in the destination areas.

All 12 finalists were awarded certificates of merit by BK Foundation.

Beata Habyarimana, the CEO of BK Group

Beata Habyarimana, the CEO of BK Group, said that all the participants of the 2023 edition are winners because the path of building a business from scratch and being selected among the 25 applicants is in itself a success.

“I think that this is already an achievement, you may be struggling but your business is something that makes sense,” Habyarimana said.

Habyarimana thanked Inkomoko’s partnership for their work, which she said is creating an impact in the lives of persons who need it so much. She used the symbol of Urumuri (light) to show inspiration or ideas.

With this impact, Habyarimana said that BK Foundation is here to stay and support the initiative, which has now become a collective effort of the BK Group and its subsidiaries.

“I see this as a beacon of hope,” declared Beata Habyarimana, the CEO of BK Group, her voice echoing with pride and determination. To all the finalists, I urge you to embrace the principles of sound financial management, cultivate strong networks, and seek partnerships. And to the winners, remember that these funds are for your development. Invest them wisely in your designated project, and you will reap the rewards of success.”

“This fund is for your development, if you invest in another project instead of the initial one, this will be a problem,” Habyarimana said.

“We would like you to come back here and tell us how you have grown your business just as Hibiscus products (Work Roselyne Ltd) came from supplying one supermarket to 25 supermarkets up to now.”

Aretha M. Rwagasore, CEO Inkomoko Development Enterprise

“Inkomoko is committed to contributing to a sustainable future by equipping environmentally conscious businesses in Rwanda with the skills they need to succeed in the complex business environment. We are proud to be part of the Urumuri initiative, which allows us to recognize and appreciate the entrepreneurs who create jobs and offer valuable products and services to our community,” said Aretha M. Rwagasore, CEO Inkomoko Development Enterprise.

Rwagasore said that Inkomoko wishes to continue working with BK Foundation and also float other Inkomoko loans which have a 10% interest per annum to allow the enterprises to beef up business, become successful, and generate more revenues in future.

Ingrid Karangwayire, Executive Secretary BK Foundation

The Executive Secretary of BK Foundation Ingrid Karangwayire stated that the initiative has had an impact on business owners and provided close to Rwf200 million with 37 cohort winners in the last seven years.

Karangwayire revealed that the initiative has about 80% success rate in loan repayment and business sustainability and the remaining 20% are still repaying loans.

“As you have seen in this year’s theme, these are actually sustainable and Eco-friendly businesses that are making profit,” Karangwayire Ingrid said adding that this initiative has seen big names in the entrepreneurship sector succeed after going through the cohort program.

One of these is the 4th Cohort winner, Roselyne Nyirahetegikimana, the Work Roselyne Ltd proprietor- a hibiscus products business who said that even if she had not won the 5million award then, she had acquired skills in financial management to run her business that has since grown from supplying one supermarket to 25.

“Even if I make a loss, it will be my own making but not Inkomoko and BK Foundation, because they did all it takes to make me succeed in business,” Nyirahetegikimana said.

The 2023 winners like Laure Bella Ange Izere (ILBA Products Ltd) and Alexis Ngabo Karegeya (Ibere rya Bigogwe tourism company) said that BK Urumuri Initiative funds will help them to respectively increase productivity and services.

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