A group of 80 handicrafts producers have completed a two-week training aimed at improving their business management skills.
The training was organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) in partnership with Members of the UK Parliament and Umubano Project- a group of volunteers from the UK’s Conservative Party.
During the awards ceremony, on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Emmanuel Hategeka, congratulated the trainees and urged them to utilise the concepts they learnt to boost their businesses and raise their standards of living.
“Rwanda’s economy is made up of micro-businesses by almost 92 percent. Many of them are satisfied by simply doing business without a plan or vision for their growth,” Hategeka said.
“Our vision is to slowly but surely transform our economy. That is why the government puts a lot of emphasis on supporting small businesses like the handicraft industry, so that they can overcome their challenges in marketing, book keeping and others.”
He encouraged them to make innovative products that can compete both on the regional and international market.
The handicraft producers’ representative, Juvenal Ndayisenga, said the training made them better and more complete business managers.
“Many times our businesses hit a dead end and we have no capacity or principles to revive them. Now we have grasped the market concepts on how we can improve our products, how we can determine uniform prices and the need for marketing,” he said.
Fiona Bruce, an MP in the UK Parliament and head of the business development team that conducted the training, commended the government for understanding the importance of supporting emerging businesses.
“The country portrays a desire to improve in all sectors and in the next few years, it is possible that Rwanda can explode with even greater success,” she said.
“We hope that the training will be beneficial to the handicraft producers and make their industry one of the most successful in the country.”
MINICOM recently organised a Handcrafts Excellence Award Program (HEAP), which is focused on professional competition to recognise and encourage handcraft producers.