It is 12 o’clock and a small crowd of COPEDU-Remera branch clients, including Ismael Ngabonziza, a Kigali businessman, is attentively listening to an official from Business Development Fund (BDF) as he explains about the institution’s services and products.
The presentation is part of the organisation’s recently launched BDF Business Clinic outreach programme aimed at sensitising the public especially BPR, COPEDU and Bank of Kigali customers, about BDF services.
Speaking to The New Times, Ngabonziza said though he was aware that the organisation provided guarantee services to people with viable business projects, the presentation was an insight about how one can benefit from the fund.
Under the campaign launched recently, BDF officials are educating the public about their products and services, as well as the procedures for accessing them, besides sharing experiences, concerns and views that may help BDF serve clients better.
Yusufu Ndagijimana, the BDF Kicukiro branch administrator, said most clients wanted more insights about their services, adding that Bank of Kigali customers they met last Tuesday appreciated the campaign “because they said it helped them understand better what we do and how they can access our services”.
“Previously, people didn’t know that they are supposed to pay back the loan, but we have been explaining to them that the funding is not a donation. They have come to understand that BDF’s intervention is to guarantee loans but to not give loans as many had earlier thought,” he said.
“When people realise that we provide guarantee services and that we have mutual partnerships with their banks, they will come for our support,” he said.
Kigali businessman Ngabonziza who supplies commodities to different supermarkets across the city said he plans to buy a vehicle to support him in the business and will approach the fund for support.
“Since my business is doing well, I will seek support from BDF so that I can secure a loan from COPEDU to buy the vehicle to facilitate the business,” he said.