Bank of Kigali to announce winners of Rwf60m interest-free Wednesday

The long wait for who will win Bank of Kigali’s inaugural Urumuri Entrepreneurship initiative Rwf60 million interest free loan comes to an end tomorrow when the Bank announces the winners.

The long wait for who will win Bank of Kigali’s inaugural Urumuri Entrepreneurship initiative Rwf60 million interest free loan comes to an end tomorrow when the Bank announces the winners.

Thirteen entrepreneurs pitched their projects before a panel of judges but only eight of them will walk away with part of the money. Here, we bring you their profiles.

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Vanessa Rukundo

Mvend
Finance and Operations Manager

1513026664Mvend
 

As the government aims to do all financial transactions electronically and via mobile phones before end of 2018, a business that enables merchant payment integration and aggregation with telephone companies and banks found a great place in the URUMURI Initiative contest.

Mvend is a technology solutions provider and software applications development company with a strong emphasis on e-commerce and e-payments solutions. With a large population who still compromise the security of their savings by keeping their money under the mattress, Mvend designed a solution.

Mvend developed a platform; the KUZI Permoja, which is a web-based platform to provide micro financial services to existing saving groups. The platform allows underserved population to easily record their transactions and build a digital financial history that can be assessed by different financial institutions, which then become easier for them to get loans.

Mvend is asking Bank of Kigali Rwf 15million to set up their server and invest in their marketing and several trainings.

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Alphonse Nsengumuremyi

Ubutware Service Delivery and Information Technology
Founder and CEO

1513026910Ubutware
 

At least 87% of the Rwandan population live in rural areas. With financial services offered only in towns, it is becoming very costly for those people to access several services.

Ubutware targets those underserved and aims to bring online and digital financial services closer to people in rural areas starting in Rwamagana. With the vision to become a leading online banking and digital financial service delivery company in Rwanda, Ubutware offers services such as e-payments, mobile money, printing, scanning and typing lessons.

Acting as intermediary, Ubutware collects a commission for each service. They also engage in community meetings to pitch their services, and often provide door- to- door services to find people who struggle to adopt the technological changes.

Ubutware has managed to get approximatively 3,977 customers, 5 partnerships with big institutions and a 3 to 5% increase in sales.

Ubutware is seeking Rwf 15 million from Bank of Kigali to invest in Mobile Money, Pivot services & Mobicash and finally purchase a car that will be used to reach big institution clients.

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Daniel Nishimwe

Akagera Community Freelance
Co-Founder

1513027061Akagera-Community-Freelance
 

Rwanda receive approximately $200 million in revenues from the tourism industry. Knowing this, there is still a lack of understanding of conservation.

To bridge the gap between the communities and conservation of wildlife, Akagera Community Freelance is building relations with Akagera National Park, educating the community about conservation and selling cultural activities to residents and visitors from around the world.

Akagera Community Freelance-guides Cooperative (ACOFREGCO), a cooperative of guiding founded in 2014 provide camping, community education, tours, and activities that focuses on homestays, local produce, Rwandan heritage and arts & crafts.

The cooperative has successfully managed to teach locals about the importance of conservation by fully supporting them through several activities.

The business is seeking Rwf 15 Million that will enable them to better access the community trough better transportation means, acquire land where they will open a campsite and improve their services by buying more equipment.

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Louis Antonie Muhire

Mergims
Founder and CEO

1513027184Mergims
 

Doing business transactions online can be risky and expensive.

At the same time, people have a very busy agenda and do not want to spend their free time lining up in branches to pay bills, services or products that can be delivered directly to them in their comfortable environment at any given time of the day or night.

Mergims is an online payment platform for urgent goods and services in Rwanda. It works to connect nationals living overseas with merchants in their home countries and enables them to pay for airtime, utilities, and tuition fees and much more for their beloved ones.

Among the advantages is that it only takes 30 seconds or less to deliver electronic services such as Airtime, Electricity, Tickets or Tuition fees. Mergims only work with well-reputed third party payment gateways and financial institutions.

The start-up is asking Rwf 10 Million to improve their infrastructure mobile and payment process including the user journey on Mergims Platforms, increase payment options via APIs, and improve payment-processing time.

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Assumpta Uwamariya

Karisimbi Wines
Founder and CEO

1513027317Karusisi-Wines
 

Karisimbi is a start-up company that produce wine from chards and pineapples.

Started in 2016, this young entrepreneur has already won different awards including the 2016 young entrepreneur of the year.

She has now managed to buy a machine that helps her make the wine, build relationships with the media to help her promote her business, and has managed to get across the borders.

This young woman is undoubtedly invincible.

Her clients include hotels & bars, supermarkets and made in Rwanda, an online market. She has also managed to sell her wines in DRC and Mozambique. Started with only a capital of Rwf 20,000 she is proud to say that her business is now worth Rwf 9million.

Assumpta is asking Rwf 13million to buy machines, expand her factory and buy more suppliers. “We are making 250 liters in a week. Our goal is to make 750 liters in a week”, says Assumpta.

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Fiston Mudacumura

Mudacumura Publishing
Founder and CEO

1513027483Mudacumura-Publishing
 

Research showed that 18% of P3 children could not read one word of a grade-level Kinyarwanda text, and 50% could not answer even half of the comprehension questions relating to the passage they just read.

This is mainly caused by the lack of reading materials in Kinyarwanda. To tackle this problem, Mudacumura founded Mudacumura Publishing in 2015 with a mission to bring high quality publishing services to Rwanda, where majority of the books are imported from other countries.

Mudacumura Publishing’s focus is selling children storybooks but is also working on expanding to different genres.

Mudacumura Publishing House Ltd provides a wide range of services related to book publishing industry. For example, authors provide manuscripts and Mudacumura Publishing House turns them into beautiful books that the end users or readers will want to buy and read.

Such services include basic training in creative writing to authors, editing, illustrating, designing, marketing and sales of books.

In one year of operations, the company already boasts 26 book titles to its name.

Mudacumura Publishing is asking Rwf18 million to invest in new book titles and build their own book factory by acquiring land and buying equipment.

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Kolin Emmanuel

DSIS&T
Founder and CEO

1513027621DSIS&T
 

Agriculture in Rwanda accounts for a third of Rwanda’s GDP and remains their main source of income.

The sector meets 90% of the national food needs and generates more than 50% of the country’s export revenues.

With long dry seasons in the eastern province, there is often a shortage of food. DSIST aims to improve irrigation services and provide training to the farmers and agriculture cooperatives.

Their currents customers include individual farmers and agricultural cooperatives located in Rwamagana and Kayonza districts, and their goal is to expand the area of operation to all districts in the eastern province.

Their innovation reduces rainfall dependency, increase agriculture production and enable villages to overcome food insecurities and shortages.

The start-up business is asking Bank of Kigali Rwf 4million to purchase water pipes and a 42Kva water pump with the required capacity to pump water up to 500m.

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Arthur Murara

Pure-Pro
Founder and CEO

1513027730PurePro
 

As the Urumuri initiative encourages innovation, PurePro‘s business idea impressed many.

As the first car glass repair shop in Rwanda, Arthur realized that many people were paying a lot more than they should.

With approximately 28, 549 total need of car glass repair every year, it costs $470 more to replace a car glass than to repair it.

Their potential clients include insurance companies, public transport companies, government institutions and individuals.

To face the challenges that include the lack of capital to reach their entire target market, PurePro is asking the bank Rwf 12,850,200million to purchase more repairing machines, construct a windshield repair workshop and develop promotional materials and a marketing plan.

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Samuel Gakwaya

Sustainable Social Business Ltd
Founder and CEO

1513027844Substainable-Social-Business-Ltd
 

About 72% Rwanda’s economically active population earn their living, directly or indirectly, from agriculture.

Samuel Gakwaya impressed the judges when he presented his idea of producing affordable sanitary pads from banana fibers.

With many women who lack the access of sanitary pads in different regions in Rwanda, girls do not go to school and there is a decrease in productivity among women when in a menstruation period.

By repurposing banana waste, Samuel has not only managed to help the women in need but has also improve the poor system of banana waste management.

His sanitary pads chemical free are absorbent and 50% less than the ordinary pads.

The start-up also creates jobs for young people, increases the productivity of women and reduce the absenteeism of girls in schools.

Samuel is requesting Rwf 8million to buy new equipment, expand the production site, and invest in several trainings.

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Yvette Uwimpaye

Murukali
Founder and CEO

1513027981Murukali
 

Most businesses in Rwanda are now offering 24/7 services.

At the same time, people have a very busy agenda and do not have the time to go around shopping.

Murukali has provided a platform for local producers who lack means to advertise their businesses, provide services for out of country customers who wish to order Rwandan produces, and finally yet importantly make shopping easier and more accessible.

Started in 2015, Murukali has now more than 10 orders per day compared to only one order when they started.

Even though the start-up has competitors, Yvette is confident that her business has a competitive advantage over on the other businesses because in addition to her online market, she also has a physical store.

She gives her customers a wide range of payments methods including Visa, MasterCard, Mobile Money, bank transfer, and cash on delivery.

Yvette is asking Bank of Kigali for Rwf 12,000,000 to invest in creating awareness of her brand, services and online store and hence increase the website traffic.

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Alain Kajangwe

WiredIn
Founder and CEO

1513028090WiredIn
 

WiredIn is an early pioneer in IT outsourcing and offshore software development business in Rwanda.

For the past 5 years, they have helped Japanese customers balance their cost-performance parameters for IT projects via sustainable, short-term relationships.

Their hybrid engagement model is designed to leverage the best of Rwanda and Japan so that their customers are the ultimate beneficiaries. With a trillion US$ global market, WiredIn has pocketed profits by attracting many businesses.

“Our 2020 goal is to have at least 30 full-time developers, project managers and testers, and a projected revenue of at least US$ 1,000,000”, said the CEO Kajangwe. WiredIn wants $12,000 to grow their team and move to a slightly bigger office space capable of accommodating their growing team.

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