Home Business & TechCompanies Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe’s ‘VIBE’ to Transform Lives of SMES In Agriculture Value Chain

Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe’s ‘VIBE’ to Transform Lives of SMES In Agriculture Value Chain

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
12:42 am

Umubyeyi Mediatrice, the Deputy Executive Secretary of Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe

Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe, an Umbrella of Rwandan Civil Society Organizations aiming at the advancement of women’s status, peace, and development has introduced to the public a five year project that seeks to give entrepreneurs dignified and fulfilling jobs.

Such jobs should be valuable, with a reliable income and should be safe and stable.

The project codenamed ‘Value Added Initiative to Boost Employment’ (VIBE) which is implemented by Trade Mark Africa and the International Trade Centre in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, will support Small and Medium Entrepreneurs(SMEs) in agricultural value chain.

The targeted participants are essentially women and young entrepreneurs, people with disability and refugees aged between 16 years and 35 years in specific value chains of horticulture, poultry, diary and livestock who will be selected on competitive basis after a mapping that is underway across the country.

The project’s reason being is the challenge of business competitiveness and limited access to domestic and cross-border market information among the targeted entrepreneurs.

VIBE is also coming to solve the issue of selling raw materials without any value addition, which has always undermined players in agriculture value chain and denied the country fair income from agricultural production.

Another concern that inspired this project is the poor compliance with standards and the limited access to markets.

Potential partners in the project

To change the trend, VIBE will accompany the traders in its intervention in the journey to graduate from informal to formal trade which will give them right to compete on local and regional market.

Giving an example, Umubyeyi Mediatrice, the Deputy Executive Secretary of Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe said : “ A school that needs suppliers of vegetables will not go find every young woman who can only afford a basket of vegetables, but if we teach them to come together, they will afford a vegetable garden and be able to attract buyers of large scale.”

Among others, VIBE will also intervene in market access capacity development, introducing the entrepreneurs to skills of transaction with financial institutions and improving standards through the value chain.

According to Umubyeyi, the support will focus on individual entrepreneurs, whether they are in cooperative or not, the end participant will be an individual, to make sure that it is effective.

In total, VIBE which is set to run from 2023 through 2028 is expected to create 14,250 jobs in this specific component.

Doreca Musenga

Wholesomely however, Doreca Musenga, Programme Manager of VIBE said that the program has multi facets with other strategic partners, and it seeks to create a total of 44,930 dignified and fulfilling jobs for youth, including 70 per cent for young women, 5 per cent for people with disability and 5 per cent for refugees.

“Trade Mark as market experts have information about local and regional market which helps us to link our participants. We provide information on trade regime and provide all forms of advocacy that the entrepreneurs might need,” Musenga said adding that for them, their support is not essentially in monetary terms.

With Mastercard Foundation, the entrepreneurs will also be able to for example get finance for their project at a discounted interest rate.

This particular component is expected to cost an estimate Rwf 2.5 billion budget, according to Musenga.

At the end of VIBE, participants are expected to have improved their businesses by 30 per cent.

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