Besides providing a less costly working space, Norrsken House Kigali, an entrepreneurship and innovation hub established in 2019, is giving Rwandan start-ups a platform to exchange ideas and knowledge, as well as generate innovative ideas that help grow their business ideas. A number of people operating from Norrsken House Kigali’s newly inaugurated facility told Doing Business that the network and expertise found in the innovation hub help them get a bigger picture of how to expand their work. Located in the city center, the trendy co-working space is home to a mix of; start-ups, incubators, accelerators, investors, lawyers, accountants, and different other corporations. It, therefore, forms an ecosystem that enables up and coming entrepreneurs to build and grow their businesses. The hub offers companies a co-working space and invests in startups. “Norrsken has been a platform for us to exchange different ideas and knowledge around the sectors in which we work,” said Agnes Kubwimana, the Programs Director at HealthEdu, an e-learning platform empowering healthcare professionals by upgrading their knowledge to prevent medical errors and malpractice. “Sharing space with start-ups from all around the continent gives us the bigger picture of how to expand our work to the continent,” she added. Another advantage is that her start-up has access to a six months mentorship program under the health tech hub, and this is likely to connect them to investors in the health sector. Entrepreneurs always need space where they can receive visitors, discuss deals with investors and partners, and Norrsken also provides that. “Before we joined, getting rent was difficult; we didn’t have a permanent place to work from. We shifted from one office to another but now we have a permanent address,” Kubwimana said. According to Kubwimana, start-ups in the health sector have free access to the facility, whereas those in other sectors pay a rent of about Rwf 800,000. Ignace Turatsinze, a co-founder at PayingTone, a digital credit platform that allows consumers to purchase goods and services on credit, started operating from the facility in March 2022, three months after its launch. “The hub has created an amazing ecosystem for like-minded individuals. You don’t know what to expect when you walk into the hall, you might bump into a potential client investor or that policy maker that you wanted to have a chat with,” Turatsinze said. “Entrepreneurship is a hard and lonely journey. Having people who share hurdles and hopes in one compound can create a huge positive impact on morale and motivation,” he added. “So far, it is the best hub with the potential to get that start-up linked to a seed investor or a potential strategic partner.” Amina Niyigena, the CEO at Bookly Africa, a one-stop booking platform for tourism and hospitality services, said Norrsken helps start-ups understand why they exist and exposes them to innovative ideas that can become solutions to existing challenges. She has been able to learn from different people, and meet up with potential investors interested in what she does. According to Pascal Murasira, the Managing Director at Norrsken East Africa, there are so many people, especially young ones, with brilliant ideas, not only in Rwanda but across the continent who don’t have the capital they need to implement their ideas. As such, he noted, Norrsken wants to assist by putting in place an ecosystem where innovators can link up with investors and partners. Musa Shumbusho, a digital marketer at Innorios, a virtual reality start-up, said that Norrsken is “a place to connect, build networks, and learn.” “Many investors visit the place, and this makes the startups more likely to get venture capital.” By 2023, Murasira said, the facility will become larger when a new building is completed to take the hub’s hosting capacity to 1,500 people. Norrsken was founded by Niklas Adalberth, a Swedish entrepreneur, in 2016. Norrsken’s portfolio consists of Swedish and British companies, several of them with operations in Africa. Recently, the hub launched a new facility that will host more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and innovators from Rwanda and across Africa. According to Murasira, in 2023, another building will be completed to take the hub’s hosting capacity to 1,500 people.