Entrepreneurship Week boosts SMEs

As Rwanda concluded seven days of the “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, it is expected that more businesses will be established because of the confidence induced within entrepreneurs. “It has laid a strong foundation for private sector development which is going to lead the growth of this economy,” said Emmanuel Hategeka, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.  The zeal for entrepreneurship is expected to create more jobs and boost the country’s exports. Currently, Rwanda’s enterprises stand at 119,158 from 72,000 registered SME’s in 2008
Farmers sort coffee beans to get quality beans for export. A new UN report shows increased trade volumes in Least Developed Countries. The New Times / File
Farmers sort coffee beans to get quality beans for export. A new UN report shows increased trade volumes in Least Developed Countries. The New Times / File

As Rwanda concluded seven days of the “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, it is expected that more businesses will be established because of the confidence induced within entrepreneurs.

“It has laid a strong foundation for private sector development which is going to lead the growth of this economy,” said Emmanuel Hategeka, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.  The zeal for entrepreneurship is expected to create more jobs and boost the country’s exports. Currently, Rwanda’s enterprises stand at 119,158 from 72,000 registered SME’s in 2008

“The story is not too bad; an increase of 65 per cent of registered enterprises in three years is a positive sign to achieve the EDPRS (Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy) target to create 1.4m jobs non-agricultural jobs,” Hategeka said.

Hategeka observed that the week, which ended on November 20, was a success being the first time Rwanda has participated with high turn up and interactive discussions.

During the Global Entrepreneurship Week, 26 activities were conducted across the country involving 2,000 individuals and 22 partners.

 “The interaction with mentors built by confidence and raised my passion to be an entrepreneur and this is the time,” said Rosine Ndayishimiye, a young entrepreneur said at the event to mark the closure of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kigali.

Ndayishimiye, a senior five student at Lycee de Kigali, says she intends to encourage fellow students to get into entrepreneurship.

She established an entrepreneurship club at her school which is currently trades in avocadoes.

“The idea came after complaints from students of bad food and they needed an appetiser, we started with avocado but now sell a variety of fruits,” she said.

Christopher Smith, the Country Director of the Babison-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC) said that the week was expected to introduce the notion of entrepreneurial behaviour to as many young people who otherwise might not have considered it a career path.

 “We need to have a generation that will see the market place as a positive force to solve the world’s problems,” he said.

The initiative started in 2008 to create networks, mentor and coach young people to unleash their potential and create change in the world through entrepreneurship.


 The Chairman of Private Sector Federation, Faustin Mbundu, said that it comes at an ideal time when Rwanda looks into innovative private enterprise to drive the county’s economic growth.

 “At this time, we must support the next generation of business leaders and provide them with the inspiration, mentorship, and other resources they need to turn their ideas into reality,” he said.

 The event was organised by Private Sector Federation in collaboration with Babison-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Centre, an affiliate of Babison College of the United States.

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