Twenty-five local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are set to win big from the just-launched 3rd edition of Urumuri Initiative championed by Bank of Kigali (BK) in partnership with Inkomoko, a local business consulting firm.
This was revealed during a media conference yesterday, where the officials informed the public that the application is open to all local entrepreneurs from all sectors of the economy with immediate effect.
The initiative is an annual entrepreneurial competition organised by BK as part of its corporate social responsibility aimed at helping local small and medium enterprises to access interest free loans and intensive business training.
Since its inauguration in March 2017, the event has attracted more than 400 participants every year and, so far, 14 local businesses have benefited from Rwf85 million in interest free loans that have been disbursed.
This time the initiative will focus on SMEs that have been in operation for more than one year and with revenue not exceeding Rwf500 million, older applicants are encouraged.
Officials believe that there is a difference between this and the first and second editions since the third edition will involve intensive business training, a three-day boot camp, and six months of business consulting on business growth.
Thierry Nshuti, Head of Marketing at BK, said; “We believe in investing in people and culture, like our country, to spur a generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. At Bank of Kigali, we are fully committed to supporting the Vision of the country in developing a generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. That’s why we’ve decided to support this vision and commit to it by giving the most promising Rwandan entrepreneurs business training and an interest-free loan to develop their businesses,” he said.
The best 25 applicants will be announced early May and will be able to attend business training where the best five will share Rwf25 million in interest free loans.
To that end, applicants have been encouraged not to focus on the Rwf25 million loan but to fully engage themselves in the whole package if they are to benefit.
“What we ask the applicants is that they should actively engage in the process because they will be trained in market research, financial management and on how to drive sales and build systems for the smooth running of business,” said Nathalie Niyonzima, the Managing Director of Inkomoko.