BK Foundation, the philanthropic arm of BK Group, and Inkomoko, an advisory firm and impact investor, concluded the 7th edition of the BK Urumuri Initiative on Thursday, November 23. This annual initiative aims to support and recognise entrepreneurs in Rwanda who are dedicated to addressing environmental and climate change issues through their businesses. ALSO READ: 25 eco-friendly businesses selected for 7th edition of BK Urumuri initiative Six outstanding entrepreneurs emerged triumphant after undergoing the six-month Business Acceleration Programme. Brisky Group Ltd, Exodus Farm Ltd, Ibere rya Bigogwe, Ilba Products, Jay Multiservice Ltd, and Wildlife Conservation Travel were the standout winners, each receiving interest-free loans from the Bank of Kigali to expand their eco-friendly ventures. To be eligible for the programme, businesses had to meet specific criteria, including: Being eco-friendly, based in Rwanda, having an annual revenue under Rwf500 million, registered for at least one year, demonstrating financial profitability or a plan to reach profitability within the next year, A track record in environmental and social sustainability in production and practices. ALSO READ: 'Wildlife Conservation Travel’ one of the 7th Edition of BK Urumuri Initiative contestants Ingrid Karangwayire, Executive Secretary of BK Foundation, highlighted the broader goals of the initiative, stating: With the BK Urumuri initiative, we want to play our part in promoting and advancing economic empowerment. She emphasised that the programme equips entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to scale up their businesses, seek capital, penetrate the market, and attract investors. The loans, paid over three years, were awarded to the winners in varying amounts — Rwf5 million, Rwf4 million, and Rwf3 million. In her message to the winners, Karangwayire expressed congratulations and encouraged them to leverage the funds to achieve their business goals. We encourage the winners to return and explore opportunities for larger loans, exceeding the amounts received today. Over the years, we've injected close to Rwf200 million into ventures like these. Nearly 200 entrepreneurs have benefited from this initiative, resulting in the emergence of prominent names and successful businesses. As they embark on this journey, we eagerly anticipate witnessing their growth, Karangwayire said. ALSO READ: Agri-business Eden, a contestant in the 7th edition of BK Urumuri Initiative Aretha Mutumwinka Rwagasore, Inkomoko Rwanda Managing Director, highlighted the success of their seven-year collaboration with BK. BK Urumuri has graduated 25 entrepreneurs annually, fostering growth through a comprehensive program covering business, finance, marketing, and more. Entrepreneurs receive interest-free BK loans ranging from 3 million to 5 million, complemented by Inkomoko loans with a 10 per cent per annum flat fee. These financial tools, ranging from $100 to $50,000, empower entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, serve more customers, generate increased revenues, and acquire assets, she said. ALSO READ: Inside Canarimwe Stoves, a BK Urumuri Initiative contender Expressing his gratitude after securing a Rwf5 million loan, Alexis Ngabo Karegeya, the Founder of Ibere rya Bigogwe Ltd, shared: I started sharing the beauty of my hometown, Bigogwe, on social media without anticipating it would garner this much attention. Now, my community is reaping the rewards of my efforts. Given that Bigogwe experiences mostly rainy weather throughout the year, embracing eco-friendly practices holds great significance for us. With these funds, I plan to build a facility for our guests to rest and camp, ultimately enhancing our business. Ngabo's venture gained prominence through his promotion of the 'Visit Bigogwe' brand on social media. The 28-year-old, hailing from Bigogwe, Nyabihu District, Western Province, has successfully attracted both local and international visitors to explore the scenic and lush region. The celebration for the six winners featured insights from their training and testimonials, showcasing the impact of BK and Inkomoko on the business support landscape. Additionally, 12 participants were presented with certificates of completion, followed by a networking session to foster connections and collaboration.