Best business plans awarded
The School of Finance and Banking (SFB) in partnership with the Michigan University’s David Williamson Institute (DWI), on Wednesday awarded 29 women with certificates after they completed a six month entrepreneurship training programme.
The graduation ceremony which included the awarding of women who presented the best business plans took place at Hill Top Hotel in Remera.
The entrepreneurship certificate programme is one of the initiatives supported by Goldman Sachs (GS), a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm which has an agenda of assisting 10,000 women entrepreneurs around the globe in entrepreneurial skills.
Addressing the graduates, Prof. Krishna Govender the SFB Rector and representative of DWI urged them to use the newly acquired skills to have an impact on society, especially to empower other women through their entrepreneurial activities and business ventures.
“SFB is very proud to be associated with the programme because it is appropriate for Rwanda, since this is a country that fully recognises and reveres the importance of women through entrenchment of equality in the country’s constitution,” Govender emphasised.
He expressed optimism that President Paul Kagame, who is fully aware of the GS-WDI-SFB project, was equally supportive of the initiative.
He quoted the President at an international conference on gender as saying, ‘Whether one considers access to education, ownership of business or participation in decision making process, the story is the same. Women are largely excluded from the mainstream.’
Speaking at the ceremony, the executive director of WDI, Robert E. Kennedy, said that their mandate is to develop entrepreneurship by inculcating the knowledge in the women so that they can use it to develop themselves. He urged that the acquired knowledge be made practical.
Seven women who presented the best business plans were also awarded at the ceremony where the first two business plans won $2500 and five others won $1000 in cash.
In an interview, Julienne Kampogo the winner of the first prize said that the training they received in the past six months helped her learn how to do good business plans and they were also taught not to fear getting loans from banks to enhance their businesses.
“I am happy that my Garage business plan was chosen as the best, I think it is because this kind of business has a small number of women in it,” commented the excited Kampogo.
According to Agnes Uzarerwa, the programme manager of the Goldman Sachs programme, the 30 women who underwent the training were selected from the 600 who had applied.
Goldman Sachs also sponsors 15 women every year for a full BBA degree programme at SFB and so far there are 30 of them in the first and second year.