Calls for more efforts to address challenges faced by businesses as GEW kicks off

Government and other stakeholders have been urged to do more to address challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the country as this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) kicks off.
Airtel Money agents serve a clients. Entrepreneurs like these ones still face a lot of challenges. / File
Airtel Money agents serve a clients. Entrepreneurs like these ones still face a lot of challenges. / File

Government and other stakeholders have been urged to do more to address challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the country as this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) kicks off.

Pamela Munyana, country director of Idea for Africa (IDEA4Africa), which organises the event in Rwanda, said though there are many initiatives encouraging Rwandans to engage in income-generating activities, many businesses collapse due to lack of capital and management skills.

“That’s one of the reasons why this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week is focusing on addressing challenges faced by entrepreneurs. Therefore, we want to dedicate this year to exploring the constraints and finding possible solutions to ensure business become sustainable,” said.

The GEW kicked off on Monday and involves a series of events that will end on Sunday. GEW is marked globally in November each year, and events are taking place in 160 countries, including Rwanda, with the primary goal of inspiring the youth to engage in entrepreneurial activities, while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and funders.

According to Munyana, GEW will feature activities, like conferences, training workshops, competitions, exhibitions, and panel and roundtable discussions, among others, to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among Rwandans.

Rwanda’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has significantly expanded over the past years, attracting more young and innovative entrepreneurs with dynamic ideas that have improved communities and service delivery in different sectors of the economy.

“As the GEW Rwanda campaign host, IDEA4Africa is building a network of innovators, thought leaders and organisations dedicated to advancing entrepreneurial growth while ensuring inclusivity and working toward achievement of the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) goals,” said Munyana, who is also the GEW national coordinator.

Over the remaining days, participants will discuss the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, particularly gathering ideas on how to encourage performances and leverage key resources in order to strengthen ecosystem, reduce barriers and promote innovation and creativity.

Munyana said the activities have been spread across the country as part of the campaign to reach more people outside Kigali.

Apollo Munanura, the Director General of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA), Ephraim Rwamwenge, a young entrepreneur, and Violette Uwamutara, the country director of Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Rwanda, are some of the motivational speakers that will address participants at events being co-hosted by the Kigali Global Shapers.

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