Over 6,000 entrepreneurs, managers and supervisors in the tourism and hospitality sector are set to acquire business skills they need to perform better, as well as strengthen small businesses in this sector, over a period of five years.
The two programmes, ‘Grow Your Business’ and ‘Inspiring Managers’, are an initiative of the African Management Initiative (AMI) in partnership with the Hanga Ahazaza initiative, a project lead by the Mastercard Foundation and focused on increasing employment opportunities for young people while providing capacity building to the hospitality and tourism sector in Rwanda.
Both programmes kicked off their first cohort last week in Kigali and will run for periods of six to twelve months. The ‘Grow Your Business’ programme started with 37 entrepreneurs for their first cohort that include restaurants, hotels, tourism operators, and food manufacturers. It will further help about 3,120 entrepreneurs build their small and micro businesses, leading to further business growth and job creation.
According to Klara Michal, chief learning officer at AMI, each programme combines a series of three interactive in-person workshops, alongside practical online tools and courses to help participants apply what they are learning directly in their jobs and businesses. Business data and metrics of the entrepreneurs are measured on a regular basis to help increase the entrepreneur’s business revenue and profits.
“We specifically chose businesses that have up to 30 or fewer employees. Our programme is very practical, we give them tools to use to fix their businesses and grow, based in research. The programme is run in a partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology where they have done research on the best practices that actually grow business and we touch on 24 habits a business should focus on to make sure it grows.”
“The entrepreneurs have done an assessment of the 24 things they are doing right and wrong, and we give them the tools they need to focus on the aspects of the business they need improvement on, in order to grow their businesses. Our program has seen incredible results in other countries, we have seen profit grow, people open new branches and hire more people,” she said.
Priscilla Ruzibuka, programme manager at AMI, shared that some of the challenges that the entrepreneurs cited include bookkeeping, not being able to afford a tax declarer, which some did not think were of any importance which in the end did add their numbers and so the training gave them an open eye to understand that these are very important things to give the best result.
The four-month long ‘Inspiring managers’ programme, on the other hand, will support about 3,800 supervisors and aspiring supervisors in the hospitality and tourism sector to develop their managerial skills. The course targets supervisors and managers under the age of 35 in the tourism and hospitality sector so they can become better managers and supervisors. They had 34 managers for their first cohort.
“It focuses on basic management styles, and we hope that these supervisors and managers are able to get promoted, run their businesses better and be better managers for young people joining the sector,” Michal added.
Those interested in participating in these programmes, can apply by clicking here click HERE