The Private Sector Federation (PSF) has launched an entrepreneurship training campaign to support the government’s Hanga Umurimo project.
“We have already signed agreements with local governments to support entrepreneurship and innovative projects that we believe will help the country achieve its Vision 2020 goals,” Jean Damascene Munyankusi, the PSF co-ordinator for the Northern Province, said during the launch in Musanze district.
He also noted that the federation would set up committees at sector level to co-ordinate the programme and encourage new entrepreneurs to join the platform.
“We want to organise business people, give them a platform where they can meet and discuss their challenges. We also want the successful entrepreneurs to mentor upcoming business people.”
Munyankusi said they have already identified successful business people who PSF will use as role models.
“The Private Sector Federation and the Rwanda Business Development Fund (BDF) will provide guarantee to innovative projects because this will create more employment opportunities for the youth,” Yvette Mukarwema, the PSF chief operations officer, said during a fundraising drive in Burera district recently.
Samuel Sembagare, the Burera district mayor, observed that the economy will develop more sustainably when new enterprises work with successful businesses.
He noted that Rwanda’s impressive performance in Africa was a good indicator of the country’s development potential.
“We must ensure that Vision 2020 leaves all Rwandans above the poverty line. Let us emulate the Chinese or Indians who work 24 hours. Although they are more developed, they still work 24 hours, yet we are poor but work less hours.” He called on all stakeholders to support the Hanga Umurimo project “for the good of the country”.
According to labour ministry statistics, Rwanda targets to create at least 200,000 new jobs per year in order to address the problem of unemployment. Currently 104,000 jobs are created annually.
The Rwanda Business Development Fund acts as a guarantor for business projects that have been approved by financial institutions but lack collateral to access credit. However, the guarantee is limited to 50 percent except for women and youth-initiated projects, which benefit up to 75 per cent support.