Rwanda entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas will receive a financial boost of Rwf85m from Business Council for Peace (Bpeace), an American Non-government Organisation (NGO).
The organisation said the money will be awarded to the brightest and most talented entrepreneurs through competition that will start on July 14, 2009.
According to the organisation, the criteria for choosing the winners will mainly focus on business viability, the creativeness of the business and its potential to appeal to the Rwanda culture, as well as the its positive impact to the community
“This competition is a bold and innovative idea brought by a trusted friend to Rwanda (Bpeace). The idea of searching for the newest and best business idea in Rwanda is a nod to the future,” said Dr. Sarah Ryan, Professor of Communication at the university of Texas and Bpeace member in Kigali.
The competition that has been dubbed ‘the race to innovation’ will provide six female entrepreneurs and six male semi-finalists with a value of Rwf67.8million in cash, technical assistance and equipment to expand or start up new businesses.
The best entrepreneur out of the twelve contenders will receive Rwf5million in extra cash and a trip to the US to meet technical advisors in their industry.
The application to join the competition that is done online requires one to be of a minimum age of 18 and of Rwandan nationality.
“The Bpeace race to innovation will connect experienced business people with entrepreneurs in order to strengthen and expand new Rwandan businesses,” explained Richard Niwenshuti the Program Manager of Bpeace.
He said that selection of the winners will be conducted by professional judges from both Rwanda and America.
The competitors who are expected to be drawn from across the country will be required to apply and the winners will be selected according to how best they responded to the answers online.
Business plans will be developed for the winners and will also access funds from FINA Bank and Commercial Bank of Kigali (BCR) through the their partnership with Bpeace.