The 8th Annual Leadership retreat kicks off today, in Rubavu district. During the three-day event, government officials will discuss, among others, how to increase the number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and how to boost job creation.
In line with the government’s poverty alleviation policy, the creation of new SMEs while supporting the existing ones will expand Rwanda’s export sector, through increased domestic production of consumer goods.
However, for SMEs to survive in today’s volatile business environment a number of market barriers, particularly limited access to medium and long-term financing must be addressed.
For instance, the central bank says that 2/3 of the loan applications by SMEs, especially from the agribusiness, are rejected by commercial banks. Yet the SMEs need the funds to grow or at times survive.
Considering the importance of the SMEs in driving the country’s economy, it is imperative that they get the desired attention.
Identifying and removing the barriers to the growth of SMEs is a critical step to ensuring that the businesses reach their full potential.