Bank of Kigali (BK) was flooded with hundreds of women lining up to apply for loans provided through the bank’s newly introduced packages aimed at giving women financial independence.
The women’s product was launched last month together with two others—the youth entrepreneurs’ and senior citizens’ products. Since last week, women from all over the country queued up at the different BK branches to get a share of the package.
In an interview with some of the women who queued up yesterday, they expressed gratitude to BK for focusing on them to improve or startup their own profitable businesses.
“Personally this is a big opportunity to improve my family’s status,” Constance Uzagerayo from Remera said, adding that, “I had no business of my own and have been living in an impoverished state.
But when I get this loan, I will start up a shop which will take care of me and my family.”
Assumpta Uwumwami, a farmer from Nyamirambo, said that she applied for a loan of Rwf3 million, which she will invest in her farm.
“The bank said that they will not just give us the money, but will also give us guidance on how to invest it in income generating activities.
I am hopeful that with all that help, we will be able to pay it back with no problem,” Uwimana said.
Arnestine Kirigidwa, a housewife from Remera, said that she found out about the product from friends who were rushing to the bank.
“When I discovered that BK was extending financial empowerment to women, I joined my friends and we all went to the bank to see the possibilities.
When we arrived, we found the bank already filled with women who knew about the program,” she told the Business Times.
According to the Head of Retail Banking at BK, Adolphe Ngunga, the package targets to provide low income women with easy access to loans and business advisory services.
“Low income women can get loans ranging between Rwf100,000 to Rwf5 million without leaving securities behind,” Ngunga said.
“They will repay the loan within a negotiable time frame at 1.45% interest rate per month. They will also be mandated to discuss with us about their business plans so that we can assess their marketability and profitability.”
BK launched the three products after acquiring grant of US$20 million and six million Euros for funding and shielding the bank from related risks.