KIGALI - As the build up to the highly sought after Rwanda Development Board (RDB’s) Investment awards gains momentum, the board has announced that the involvement of the Private Sector has increased compared to last year.
According to Vivian Kayitesi, RDB’s Head of Division - Investor Aftercare and Monitoring - the process of selecting and short listing those who registered and those who were nominated for the 3rd Edition of the awards is well on track.
“We registered a 51% increase in the questionnaires received from investors, exporters and SME’s compared to 2009,” Kayitesi said, adding that out of those who filled the questionnaire, only 69 (56 investors and 13 exporters) were shortlisted for the second phase.
The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on the January 28, 2011.
The awards, launched in 2008, were established to recognize businesses, individuals and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that made an outstanding impact towards the growth of Rwanda’s economy.
This year, 15 categories are expected to be awarded, including, Investor of the Year, Exporter of the Year and SME of the Year. They also include sector winners in Tourism, ICT, General manufacturing, Agro-processing, Mining, Finance, Real estate and special category winners; Customers service, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and the most Business Friendly District.
This year will also see the introduction of new award categories; the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Outstanding SME in all the above mentioned categories.
According to Kayitesi, the criteria used to select the best companies include, profitability, creation of forward and backward linkages with local SMEs, demonstrate innovation and technology transfer, Corporate Social Responsibility and corporate citizenship, ability to act as a role model to other investors and reinvesting into the business to sustain growth rates among others.
“By establishing the awards, the RDB hopes to provide inspiration to established and future businesses, leading to economic growth, boosting job creation as well as minimizing poverty levels and stimulating rapid economic growth,” Kayitesi said.
RDB has contracted the services of GPO PARTNERS Rwanda Ltd; a private firm to ensure a free and fair selection process. The final winners will, however, be selected by an independent panel of eminent persons from the public and private sector.