Four years ago, his business was struggling and he had lost hope of ever finding money to recapitalise it. His woes were eased when he secured funds from the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), which turned around his business and his life.
“I acquired a Rwf9m loan from BRD three years ago, which helped me start a piggery farm that is now the source of my livelihood,” Felicien Niyomana, a businessman in Kimironko, told Business Times.
Niyomana said though he was still servicing the loan, it has also helped him to find his footing in the agro-business sector.
“The piggery business has enabled me to have a sustainable source of income and, presently, I do not lack anything. I pay my children’s school fees and I have also built a better house for the family,” he explained.
Niyomana is one of the many business people whose enterprises the development bank has helped capitalise in all the sectors of the economy.
To enhance funding to the private sector, especially to the small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), BRD recently acquired a fourth line of credit worth $8m (about Rwf5.3b) from the African Development Bank to support local businesses in agriculture, telecommunications, tourism and infrastructure.
“This loan will enable BRD to reinforce its private sector and SMEs operations in Rwanda,” Jack Kayonga, the development bank chief executive officer, said after signing the deal early this week.
“Our partnership with the African Development Bank goes beyond just financing, but sharing a vision to bolster the economy of Rwanda by providing ample support to the private sector.”
BRD spent 99 per cent of its funds (Rwf56b) last year to finance the private sector and plans to increase its lending to SMEs by 30 per cent to over Rwf80b.
SMEs form 80 per cent of the country’s taxable base.
AfDB supports other banks in the area of SME funding, including the Bank of Kigali, which received a loan of $12m in 2011 to enhance its support of small businesses.