Youth scoop business devt competition awards

Smart Business, a firm owned by a group of youth, has scooped this year's Generation Rwanda business development competition. The group pitched an idea about assisting small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) with issues of tax compliance, business expansion and regular customer satisfaction through efficient service delivery.
Smart business’ Rubagumya (second left) and the other winners display mobile phones they got as part of the winners’ package. (Solomon Asaba)
Smart business’ Rubagumya (second left) and the other winners display mobile phones they got as part of the winners’ package. (Solomon Asaba)

SmartBusiness, a firm owned by a group of youth, has scooped this year’s Generation Rwanda business development competition.  The group pitched an idea about assisting small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) with issues of tax compliance, business expansion and regular customer satisfaction through efficient service delivery.

The competition started last year.

Joseph Rubagumya, a group member, said they have already started operations and have approached over 100 small businesses in Kigali.

The other projects that made it to the finals included one of pig breeders, florists, and two firms - Deal Transformations and Blue Tower.

The competition seeks to promote entrepreneurship among the youth through training and funding of the winning groups.

Speaking during the event at Kepler Institute in Kigali, Joy Rwamwenge, the Rwanda Development Board SME advisor, said the winning projects were considered on basis of viability and sustainability of the projects.

She was happy that most of the business ideas presented by the youth were viable; “but there is need to look at the market, skills availability and funding”.

“The winning team has almost met all these requirements, mainly skills availability and service delivery,” Rwamwenge explained.

Blue Tower which pitched an idea on how to keep school children busy during holidays by engaging them with trainings in different skills, like computer application; career guidance and sports, was the first runners up.

According to Valens Rutazihane, the proprietor of the Kimironko-based firm, parents register their children, and are charged depending on the packages they want.

Ifeza Florists’ idea that aims to provide online services and door-to-door flower deliveries was third. Lynley Mannell, a business consultant and mentor, said the winners will be trained in monitoring and evaluation to help them run their projects sustainably.

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