In an effort to enhance Rwanda’s commitment to increase employment opportunities among the youth, the Dutch government through its international organisations pledged to fund Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Anneke Evers, Senior Advisor BiD network—a Dutch international organisation—said that through the MESII project that will run for five years, over €25 million funding will be distributed in five countries including Rwanda to bolster the SMEs growth.
The money will be used to mainly fund Rwanda’s young business projects through a business plan competition.
The fund is expected to create jobs, business skills training, and also facilitate access to finance by SMEs.
“SME is a backbone of any economy in the world; to stimulate economic growth we need to strengthen the SME sector,” Evers told Business Times on Wednesday.
Nebojsa Simic, the country manager of Spark Rwanda said the initiatives will support young people to start up their businesses and be self employed, create jobs for others as one way of steering the economic development of their country.
“We are doing this through a business plan competition where successful young entrepreneurs will have their businesses funded,” he noted.
The business plan competition will have over 30 best business projects funded up to the tune of US$1m depending on the financial budget for each business project.
“With our experiences in other countries, this project will bring tangible results, and the major objective is to make a good step for another project,” Simic noted.
Nonetheless, the government is more optimistic that the Dutch initiative will help reduce unemployment among the youth and increase access to finance.
“Our major target as government is to see how we create employment for our young people, encouraging them to be job creators not seekers,” the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Protais Mitali said.
The project that will run for five years in Rwanda will see an increase in entrepreneurial businesses in Rwanda, fostering a business led economic spring up in the country.