KCB Bank Rwanda unveils new club to support SMEs

The Kenya Commercial Bank Rwanda has unveiled a new club to support small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs).

The Kenya Commercial Bank Rwanda has unveiled a new club to support small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs).

The KCB Biashara club will support SMEs with technical assistance and expertise to boost their capacity to increase production and value addition, George Odhiambo, the head of business development and client services at KCB Rwanda has said.

The KCB Biashara Club is specially designed to cater for the needs of the businesses by providing advisory services to the entrepreneurs to be able to benefit from KCB services.

“Members of Biashara Club will among many things benefit from advisory services through SME management seminars and workshops, regional and international business trips, networking opportunities at various club functions, term loans and overdraft offers at low interest rates,” he said.

He was speaking during the one-day training workshop on strategies to boost SMEs capacities.

The meeting brought together more than 50 business people in the packaging sector, construction, textile, tourism, and agriculture, among others.

“The idea is to continuously support our customers with entrepreneurial skills to increase production and productivity,” Odhiambo, told Business Times.

Lucky Philips, the Head of Investment Promotion at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said the development body will continue to work with relevant institutions to design different strategies key in boosting capacity building of SMEs.

“Government is for instance trying to see how we can get big players on the market that can address the problem of access to credit and fortunately, banks are also coming up with better products that can address the challenge,” he said.

Last month, KCB Bank Rwanda secured $10 million (about Rwf8 billion) loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support the country’s housing sector and small-and-medium enterprises (SME).

Maurice Toroitich, the KCB Bank Rwanda managing director, said the money will strengthen the lender’s capacity to increase long-term funding to the SME and housing sectors.

The bank had previously got funds from IFC to support agribusiness, and Toroitich said there was need to finance other sectors.

“The funding will help us provide affordable mortgage facilities and long-term lending to SMEs,” he said.

The bank recorded Rwf3.2 billion pretax profits last year, an increase of 165 per cent from Rwf857 million in 2014.