An initiative that aims at promoting entrepreneurship and financial literacy among Rwandan women has been launched, amid concerns over the high mortality rate of women-owned businesses.
New Faces New Voices Rwandan chapter, part of the continental women advocacy group, also seeks to promote a savings culture among women and support business women to ensure their ventures grow and become sustainable.
The group held its inaugural business and financial literacy campaign dubbed “FinBiz Series” in Kigali on Tuesday.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the New Faces New Voices Rwanda chairperson, said the group will help sharpen Rwandan women capabilities in business and financial matters.
Nsanzabaganwa urged women to join the group, adding that they will roll out their activities to other parts of the country in coming months.
“We have a specific plan, which will be released in a few months… In the meantime, we should think of ways to build the capacities of women in business so we can ‘amplify the voices and multiply the faces’.”
She acknowledged the fact that it will not be an easy task, but said it is achievable. She lauded government support to women, adding that as women they should have a vision of a Rwanda, where women are financially-included, and are able reach their full economic potential.
International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Loy Nankunda Galiga said it is the responsibility of educated and skilled women to support their colleagues in business, especially rural folks so that their enterprises flourish and become sustainable.
Claire Akamanzi, the Rwanda Development Board chief operating officer, emphasised the need for women to support each other to ensure that all Rwandan women are economically empowered.
“Most of the big companies are owned by men; let’s support each other as women so that we can also achieve such business success. This will not come easily, but it’s a journey we need to embark on now,” Akamanzi said.
New Faces New Voices has partnered with RDB, UN Women and IFC.
The Rwanda chapter is part of the pan-African movement founded in 2010 by Graca Machel, the former first lady of South Africa, to advocate for women financial empowerment, access to financial services, and skills development, among others.