First Lady, Jeannette Kagame yesterday officially opened the first National Women Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable that is aimed at integrating women entrepreneurs in the economic development of the country.
The inaugural ceremony organised by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) under the Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs in partnership with the World Bank (WB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), was held at Prime Holdings, Kimihurura.
In her opening remarks, the First Lady lauded IFC for working in synergy with relevant Rwandan institutions to transform Rwanda women’s lives through economic empowerment.
“It is refreshing to witness such an organisation’s shared enthusiasm with a country to overcome its economic challenges,” she said.
Mrs. Kagame also expressed optimism that this roundtable will enable a comprehensive skills development programme and explore the set up of credit lines for women entrepreneurs’ thus improving access to markets for Rwandan business women.
“I am also certain that the outcomes of this will pave way for the entrepreneurship activities of our sisters who are willing to learn how to work for economic self reliance and wealth,” she said.
The ceremony was, among others, also attended by the Minister for Trade and Commerce, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, World Bank Country Representative, Victoria Kwakwa and PSF Chairman, Robert Bayigamba.
Nsanzabaganwa pointed out that women entrepreneurs need a lot of capacity building and that so far, business development service centres have been set up all over the country so that women can access information through the internet to develop their businesses.
She also urged the entrepreneurs to seek information from the Centre for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises in Rwanda (CAPMER) on how to access financial assistance for business development.
“We have other funds in place. For example the Banque Populaire credit line is an opportunity for women in the crafts sector to access credit,” she added.
PSF Secretary General, Emmanuel Hategeka also thanked the first lady for her commitment towards assisting women in leadership and business roles adding that the roundtable will help the women to perform better in the business sector.
In the three and half days’ seminar, women entrepreneurs will, among others, be equipped with skills in banking, how to access the women guarantee fund, leasing as a financial instrument, how to expand a business and tax management.
Through this roundtable, stakeholders expect women entrepreneurs to give ideas and suggestions on how best they can be assisted to be economically empowered.
Henceforth programmes will then be designed to promote their requests and ideas. The roundtable, was organised under the theme: “Integrating women entrepreneurship in the economic development of Rwanda.”