Rwanda Commercial Bank (BCR) opened training in accounting skills for 30 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to bolster their credibility and capacity to access loans from commercial banks.
In partnership with the German Development Corporation (GIZ), the training will be conducted in four series through this year by experienced lecturers and bankers.
BCR’s Managing Director, Sanjeev Anand, said that the initiative is part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility aimed at enlightening SMEs to prepare prudent financial statements and tax regulations.
A study by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) shows that 55 percent of SMEs in Rwanda consider limited knowledge on how to prepare prudent financial statements as the biggest challenge to their business.
“Although the private sector accounts for at least 75 percent of business activities in our country, banks are currently facing considerable problems in payback of loans, particularly from SMEs and thus are reluctant to expand lending to this important sector,” Anand said.
BCR is trying to create a win-win situation by training SMEs so that they can gain higher financial performance, submit bankable proposals and improve payback of loans to banks, he said.
Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said that empowering SMEs is embedded in Rwanda’s Vision 2020 as a prime sector to inspire economic growth and development.
“With a vibrant private sector, Rwanda will achieve its target of having a middle income economy by 2020 through increased employment opportunities and will also cut dependence on foreign donors due to increased revenue collection from the private sector,” Nsanzabananwa said.