KIGALI - The School of Finance and Banking (SFB) in partnership with the Michigan University’s William Davidson Institute, yesterday awarded 60 women with certificates after they completed a six month entrepreneurship training program.
The colourful ceremony included the rewarding of women who presented the best business plans during the course.
The entrepreneurship certificate program is one of the initiatives supported by Goldman Sachs (GS), a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm with an agenda of instilling 10,000 women entrepreneurs around the globe with entrepreneurial skills.
Speaking to The New Times, Claudine Tuyisenge, one of the graduates said that the new skills and techniques would enhance her business.
“It has enabled me to become a professional entrepreneur and I am going to use my expertise to expand my business,” she said.
Tuyisenge, who graduated as a welder, requested the government to initiate programs that will see women entrepreneurs train in Information Communication Technology.
Speaking at the event, Trade and Industry Minister Francois Kanimba, said that in the past, women’s entrepreneurial potential was under-exploited, hence the fewer number of women venturing into business.
“Do not lose the momentum; go out and use your skills; try to innovate; seek and utilise valuable information about markets; approach financial institutions and build a network among yourselves and help each other grow,” he told the graduates.
Kanimba stressed the government’s commitment in developing Small and Medium Enterprises as the key to create jobs, increase exports, and reduce poverty.
“Such initiatives that unleash the potential people, women in particular, are a significant boost to the wellbeing of the people and development of the country at large”.
Reid Whitlock, the Rector of SFB, hailed the graduates for taking the training seriously and their persistence to complete it.
“It takes ambition, focus and a long term vision for an entrepreneur to consistently take on such long-term training,” he said.
Sharolyn Arnett, Program Manager William Davidson Institute said that the training aimed at empowering women economically by giving them skills.
“I appreciate the efforts you put in during the course and I hope the skills you got will shape your entrepreneurial potential,” she told the graduates.
The women entrepreneurs graduated in various disciplines such as farming, construction, wielding, tailoring, and cooking, among others.
So far, 180 Rwandan women entrepreneurs have benefited from the Goldman Sachs program since its launch in Rwanda in 2008.