Equipping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the right skills is essential if the country is to achieve its economic objectives, Emmanuel Hategeka, the permanent secretary at trade and industry ministry, has said.
Hategeka said the government is counting on the SMEs and the private sector, in generally, for the realisation of its economic objectives under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), including creation of 200,000 off jobs annually by 2018.
Over 160,000 SMEs have been established in the country since 2013, reflecting at least 99 per cent of the total micro enterprise initiatives.
While speaking at a training workshop for SMEs, yesterday, Hategeka, however, said small businesses and start-ups still face challenges like lack of managerial capacity, as well as innovative and bankable business ideas to make them sustainable.
The three-day training, organised by I&M Bank Rwanda and European Investment Bank (EIB), attracted 30 SME operators. It aimed at building SME sector capacity and equip them with skills to develop innovative ideas that could help get funding from credit institutions.
Robin Bairstow, the I&M Bank chief, said the training will strengthen SMEs marketing and distribution skills, as well as their ability to manage credit.
“It also seeks to equip SMEs with skills on how to prepare bankable projects to attract more credit to grow their businesses,” Bairstow told The New Times.