Rwanda’s women entrepreneurs are now able to access financial services through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to encourage development in the country, the president of the Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs, Henriette Zimurinda said.
Increasing women’s ability to contribute to economic growth is crucial in pushing nations back on the development truck. A major reason is the crucial role women play in sustaining their families.
“All winning nations involve women in their developmental policies,” said Zimurinda. “But we need to educate, employ and advance credits to them.”
IFC will assist Rwandan women entrepreneurs to access financial services, training to improve their skills and help them access leases.
“We are happy IFC has come to Rwanda to help women development as it has been doing in other African countries,” she said. “IFC has not promised us money to facilitate our services yet, but they are ready to help us in capacity building, financial services and accessing leases.”
Equipment that can be leased includes hair dryers, deep freezers, fridges, cooking appliances, juice makers, and food warmers among others.
Recently, IFC, the Centre for Support of Small and Medium Enterprises in Rwanda, and the Private Sector Federation organized a one-day workshop on gender and enterprise development at the Novetel Hotel.
The IFC Country Manager, Jean Philippe Prosper said supporting women entrepreneurs in the world is very crucial.
“One of the IFC objectives is to narrow the gap between male and female business entrepreneurs in Rwanda,” he said. “We need to treat them equally.”
Prosper also said women qualify for credits because they are typically among the most trusted members of society.
In her introductory remarks, the World Bank Country Manager, Victory Kwakwa said women had been marginalised for so long and it is high time today’s African leaders brought them on board.
Other African countries where IFC is active include Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.