Fifteen Rwandan businesses in the sectors of energy, tourism and hospitality successfully completed training using a free online learning program called SME toolkit.
The training program, that was facilitated by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), on Wednesday, aimed at strengthening Small and Medium Enterprises. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
The SME toolkit was launched in Rwanda in July 2009 by the Rwanda Entrepreneurship Development Program (REDP) to assist business owners and managers acquire skills that will enable them prepare trusted business plans.
It would also prepare them run more efficient businesses and also improve their chances of accessing finance and capital from local banks.
Ignace Rusenga the Program Manager for IFC’s REDP said that IFC’s goal is to create opportunities for Rwandans to escape poverty and improve their lives through increasing support to local SMEs.
“Currently we are committed to supporting emerging businesses in the energy, tourism and hospitality sectors. We hope to see more SMEs involved in different areas such as renewable energy including biogas, solar energy, micro-hydro and biomass,” Rusenga said.
Rusenga added that IFC can help SMEs access an estimated $62 million of funding from development partners to finance different renewable energy projects.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Vincent Karega, commended IFC for its effort to partner with Rwanda in attaining qualitative and sustainable development.
“Today we are talking of entrepreneurship as our new struggle to attain true economic liberation from foreign aid and poverty,” Karega said.
”That is why the government is greatly involved in the financial restructuring of our economy so that the youth with business ideas can be facilitated to enable Rwanda achieve her vision,” he added.
Patrick Mazimpaka, one of the trainees who completed training on the SME toolkit said that IFC had assisted them address the challenges of business management skills gaps.
“My consulting firm which works in the energy sector will greatly benefit from my new skills as well as increased financial and technical assistance from money lenders since we can now develop trusted business plans,” Mazimpaka said.