Based on a survey done last year to identify major constraints to business development, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched programs aimed at boosting skills of 70,000 Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SME’s).
According to the IFC Senior Operations Officer, Ignace Bacyaha, the survey which was prepared by On The Frontier (OTF) clearly identified lack of skills as one of the major setbacks for the growth of these enterprises.
“We believe that boosting the capacities of SME’s will accelerate economic development as it enhances the basis of the country’s taxation, hence growth of the gross domestic product,” Bucyaha said.
“The report shows that these enterprises mainly lack skills, access to funding, have no knowledge about taxation and are faced by infrastructural and energy problems. Our initiative to boost skills is only a beginning as we intend to tackle every challenge step by step”.
According to the official, IFC together with partners like the Netherlands and Belgian governments as well as local banks, have set aside US$2.4 million to offer business development skills to Rwandan entrepreneurs in a period of 3 years as a way of closing the skills gap.
“Through local consultants such as Maxinet group and centre for business solutions, we have so far inculcated knowledge on basic accounting and we keep these firms in our online data base so that we can follow up on their performance until they are on the right track,” he added.
Bacyaha also added that the main aim of transforming the informal businesses into formal ones is to enable them generate wealth to boost the middle class.
“We are confident that with the development of about 70,000 enterprises, there will be increased employment opportunities, increased productivity and competitiveness thus a vibrant economy,” he emphasized.
Last week, 24 trainers-of-trainers were certified by IFC to enable business people meet higher standards of production through the SME tool kit and business edge packages.