The initiatives aim to boost businesses’ skills and performance, access to finance, access to advanced technology among other common challenges.
$50 million Hanga Ahazaza initiative
Hanga Ahazaza is a $50 million five-year initiative from the Mastercard Foundation launched in 2018 to equip 30,000 young men and women with the skills they need to transition into jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
Since its launch, it has reached more than 3,333 Rwandan youth and 183 SMES.
Hanga Ahazaza also supports entrepreneurs with small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector through increased access to financial services and business development skills training so that they can create new employment opportunities for young people.
Applying for the support is done through https://mastercardfdn.org/how-to-apply-to-hanga-ahazaza
Business Survival Bootcamp programme
Business Survival Bootcamp by African Management Institute is designed to help businesses access free business recovery and growth tools to help them bounce back from the impact of Covid-19.
AMI’s Business Survival Bootcamp is a one-month course designed to help businesses make it through the current crisis with access to interactive online workshops, digital tools and guidance, and the opportunity to connect with other businesses.
The more in-depth Survive to Thrive programme is a six-month course which enables businesses to innovate, prepare for the future and grow again. The programmes aim to increase the number of businesses that recover strongly from the current crisis, while retaining staff and creating additional jobs, especially for women and young people.
The first Business Survival Bootcamp will begin on, Tuesday 24 November and the first Survive to Thrive courses kick-off at the start of 2021.
The one-month Business Survival Bootcamp focuses on scenario planning, risk assessments and cash flow forecasting while the key topics of the six-month Survive to Thrive programme are scenario planning, financial forecasting, business risk assessment and planning, leading in uncertainty, managing remote teams, identifying opportunities and new customer segments, personal and business habits for growth, adapting operations and HR.
All programmes are fully virtual to fit around the schedules of busy business owners and ensure the health and well-being of participants.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and African Management Institute last week entered a partnership to provide free business skills to 2,500 Micro Small Medium Enterprises.
Businesses and entrepreneurs can apply for the programmes at www.africanmanagers.org/rwanda
BDF Quasi-Equity support
Business Development Fund is also rolling out an Agribusiness financing scheme to start-ups in combined production and agro-processing who are university graduates.
The package is made up of the promoter’s contribution of 10 per cent of the amount requested from BDF, a grant of 30 per cent and BDF convertible shares of 60 per cent.
The ceiling of the loan amount is Rw10 million at an interest of 12 per cent.
It means that of the whole Rwf10 million package, the project owner has to contribute their Rwf1 million (10 per cent), they receive a grant of Rwf3 million (30 per cent) and BDF invests Rwf6 million shares (60 per cent) paid back to us at an interest rate of 12 per cent.
This can be applied any time for a person with project idea and the information is available at https://www.bdf.rw/quasi-equity/
NIRDA’s upgrading technology support
Over Rwf4 billion is being invested by National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) to support firms engaged in the processing of poultry and piggery products, production of animal feeds to acquire better equipment to improve competitiveness and productivity.
The initiative also seeks to provide advanced technologies and technical support to firms producing construction materials out of stone.
Applicants have until November 30, 2020 to apply https://www.nirda.gov.rw/open-calls/
Mobile money API
Popular Telecom, MTN Rwanda recently announced that it had granted access to local developers to its Mobile Money API (Application Programming Interface) platform enabling them build solutions that accept mobile money payments.
Opening the MoMo API emphasizes ambition by giving local developers an opportunity to innovate and build products that will enhance financial inclusion.
Innovators will be able to monetize their products as they stimulate the growth of the MoMo ecosystem in the country.
Local entrepreneurs and start-ups will be able to offer mobile money payment options on their respective platforms and they can access the Mobile Money API online through (https://momoapi.mtn.co.rw/).
Imbuto Foundation on Friday, November 13 launched the third edition of iAccelerator, a youth-driven programme aimed at encouraging young people to create innovative solutions to issues related to sexual and reproductive health.
Applications are open until December 13. Then 40 applicants will be selected to undergo preliminary pitching and boot camp before 10 finalists compete for the winner position on January 19, 2021.
Taxi moto business for female
In Kigali, 200 women are expected to start Moto Taxi Business and form a cooperative under the support of Yego Innovision Ltd in partnership with Germany Cooperation Agency (GIZ).
The women will be supported to access finance to buy motorcycles.
Armella Manirambona, Project Manager at Yego said, last week, that although with Covid-19 they temporarily stopped the project, “we are now looking how we can continue to project.”