IFC building lasting businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) in joint partnership with Centre for Business Solutions (CBS), an affiliate of MAXINET has trained Small and Medium suppliers of Laico Umubano Hotel on business plan creation for product quality improvement.
Benefited: Laico Umubano hotel
Benefited: Laico Umubano hotel

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) in joint partnership with Centre for Business Solutions (CBS), an affiliate of MAXINET has trained Small and Medium suppliers of Laico Umubano Hotel on business plan creation for product quality improvement.

Etienne Ndatimana, IFC’s Associate Operations Officer, Rwanda Entrepreneurship and SMEs program said in a knowledge building workshop on Monday that a series of trainings in hotels, restaurants, and tour and travel businesses are ongoing.

The trainings are directed at creating a large market for SMEs to generate jobs.

“We want to see how we can increase the quality and quantity that hotels receive from the locals (SMEs) so that if they secured the local market they would create more jobs and markets,” Ndatimana said, adding that alongside the training, they also carryout needs assessment for training and technical assistance.

“We want to learn more on what SMEs need and tailor support.”

To reach out to the broader workforce with in the companies, IFC is using top-down method which involves availing training to company heads, vision bearers who are expected to impart the business knowledge to employees.

During the workshop of the 30 suppliers, most of them lacked documented business plans meant to be a systematic future projection of their ventures.

This follows previous training of a selected 20 SMEs from the private sector.

Justin Uwantege, owner of Shadon Modern Market one of the suppliers to Laico commended the workshop for the business plan clarifications she was struggling with one despite owning a business for nine years. 

“I just started as a business as a try out because I didn’t go to a business school. I had ideas on a business plan but not trusting them. I always got confused,” she said.

Azarias Ndarifite, General controller at Laico Umubano hotel said that the training was necessary due to the poor quality of the products by the suppliers.

“We have issues with the standards of quality and quantity. We told them we can give them more money but we need a good product,” he said.

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) one of the joint funders, a new but aggressive entrant in the banking sector was with the intention of trying to understand the needs of the SMEs which comprises of most businesses.

During the group discussions, the SMEs mentioned that some of the major barriers to their businesses include access to credit and lack of business plans.

Ignace Rusenga, IFC’s Senior operations officer said that the training that is of four components is targeting over 76000 businesses in various sectors.

“We are targeting business in the sectors of energy, telecommunications schools agriculture and mining. The training includes four components that include linkage, Centre for business solutions and value chain development,” he said.

After a competitive bidding IFC selected CBS and KPS associates to conduct the various business trainings.

Rebson Dzala, Head of corporate and Strategic planning Officer with CBS said that a professional SME toolkit is ready to cater for all business needs.

“The SME toolkit is well tested, it is in 19 languages, in 30 countries and Rwanda is the 8th country in Africa. IFC has made available at a reduced fee of $200 to $400,” he said.  

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