Training, funding, to boost informal sector

Following years of lagging behind and only featuring as a statistical group in national economic surveys, players in the informal sector will finally be supported to emerge out of their stagnant economic positions.

Following years of lagging behind and only featuring as a statistical group in national economic surveys, players in the informal sector will finally be supported to emerge out of their stagnant economic positions.

A proposed pilot stimulus project for the informal sector will take a year, centering on capacity building for a targeted 20 percent of informal sector players.

The support package of the informal sector is funded by DANIDA, a Danish international NGO at an estimated cost of USD100,000.

The beneficiaries will be trained on how to operate and grow their businesses. They will also be facilitatd to access financial assistance which is needed to take their businesses to a more progressive level.

This initiative which is undertaken by Educat International in partnership with YES Rwanda (Youth Employment Systems), will merge the approaches of training and loan facilitation to people involved in small and struggling businesses.

Following the training, the beneficiaries will be able to acquire loans since they would have attained some management skills.

It is estimated for that 90 percent of people venturing into agriculture are in this group.

Despite being neglected, the informal sector which is made up of unregistered small business operators, contributes over 60 of the tax base.

In an interview with The New Times, Andreas Norlem, Programme Director of Educat said the training was part of a wider goal of promoting greater financial independence through building capacity of the informal sector players to know how to grow their businesses.

“We are coming out to recognize and support the informal sector through equipping them with progressive business trends and skills to empower them grow,” said Norlem.

So far 75 business operators from this sector have been trained on how to manage their businesses, accountability, customer care and other profit maximization skills, most of these operate in the hospitality industry around Nyabugogo area.

In a related development, Educat International is set to establish a private institution that will be training people in entrepreneurship skills.

The institution which will be called Rwanda Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship will start in January 2011 offering a 3 year diploma course.

The institution will be developed from the already existing incubation business centre run by YES Rwanda.

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