The government will soon embark on a programme to ease access to finance among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to heighten production and enhance their development in the country.
This was said yesterday by Trade and Industry Minister, Francois Kanimba, on the sidelines of a one-day consultative meeting to discuss SME development.
The minister noted that SMEs play an important role in a country’s economic development, undertaking that government would continue to safeguard their growth.
“What we need is to assist all these SME operators to access finance from the financial intuitions to boost their businesses,” Kanimba said.
He disclosed that his ministry had conducted a recent survey in all districts to ascertain areas to support, adding that it would determine the assistance to be extended to business operators basing on identified bottlenecks.
The minister cited the example of Nyagatare District, which he said requires milk-related support like establishment of a market for milk products.
Kanimba added that a new project dubbed Hanga Umurimo will soon be launched to create awareness and impart entrepreneurial skills to the citizens.
“This project will also try to identify new entrepreneurs in all districts, especially students from university who have good ideas and how we can help them to develop and avoid unemployment,” Kanimba added.
In an interview, Julius Rukundo, the Vice Mayor of Bugesera in charge of Finance and Economic Affairs, welcomed the government’s support saying that the move would improve people’s income.
“Access to finance is still a big challenge to SMEs, but if the government has agreed to assist them, it’s a good initiative that will boost low income groups,” he said.