Apply for the Fintech Incubation Program by 20 January 2022!

Apply for the Fintech Incubation Program by 20 January 2022!

On 11 December 2021, Co-creation Hub (CcHUB), a research and development tech lab innovating for social impact, collaborated with Google, Mojaloop Foundation, and the Government of Rwanda to launch a Fintech Incubation Program. This program is one of the initiatives designed to accelerate Rwanda’s digital transformation to drive inclusive economic development by leveraging technology and fostering a pan-African Incubation ecosystem.

Through this program, CcHUB will be supporting early-stage fintech startups and innovators (with at least a Minimum Viable Product) through an incubation program. There will be two cohorts of 15 startups over the year, with a $10,000 grant to each selected company. Additionally, successful applicants stand to benefit from the following:

  • Equity-free funding of up to $10,000
  • Product, market readiness, and investment support
  • Mentorship from industry and sector experts
  • Access to Google products and Mojaloop
  • Access to a network of partners and investors from CcHUB
  • Additional funding opportunities

Interested applicants must complete the following eligibility criteria:

  • Headquartered and/or operating in Rwanda
  • Have already launched a product in the market or at least a Minimum Viable Product
  • Have a registered business that has been in operation (since launch date) for at least six months
  • Have at least one full time and dedicated founder

To apply, visit: Fintech Incubation Program


Do you have a business that is keen on sustainability? Apply for the Swedish Institute Management Programme by 13 February 2022!

Do you have a business that is keen on sustainability? Apply for the Swedish Institute Management Programme by 13 February 2022!

The Swedish Institute, a public agency that encourages interest and trust in Sweden globally, invites applicants for its Swedish Institute Management Programme 2022. The programme is set to support 60 African businesses interested in bridging the gap between desire and action on sustainability. Through the programme, participants will be given tools and have access to knowledge from experts in the field to support them in putting sustainability at the core of their business strategy and improving their leadership skills.

The programme will be conducted online and at local conferences where participants will benefit from:

  • Access to in-depth knowledge and skills about sustainable business practices focusing on human rights, climate and the environment, decent working conditions and anti-corruption
  • Access to capacity building and knowledge transfer to lead change and promote sustainable business practices in an entrepreneur’s organisation
  • Learn from insights into business cases for sustainability in Sweden, one of the leading countries in sustainable business practice
  • Access to knowledge that allows entrepreneurs to use design thinking to develop creative and sustainable solutions to complex problems
  • Access to customized expert coaching based on an entrepreneurs’ organisation and their personal needs
  • Unique opportunity for close collaboration and exchange with colleagues from several other countries, developing strong, long-lasting professional networks
  • Access to the global Swedish Institute alumni network with leaders committed to sustainable business and responsible leadership

The programme seeks to support entrepreneurs keen on sustainably running their businesses and advocate for sustainable business practices in their respective countries. Additionally, interested applicants should fulfil the following to apply:

  • Be a citizen and resident of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda or Zambia
  • Be between 25 and 50 years old
  • Have an entrepreneurial mindset and a track record of making things happen
  • Demonstrate a willingness to support and share their experience and knowledge with other participants
  • Have a high level in both written and spoken English
  • Have a post-secondary education

To apply, visit: SIMP Application


Are you an entrepreneur with a solution that tackles hunger, improves food security, and strengthens food systems? Apply for the IGNITE Food Systems Challenge from the World Food Program (WFP) Rwanda by 6 February 2022!

Are you an entrepreneur with a solution that tackles hunger, improves food security, and strengthens food systems? Apply for the IGNITE Food Systems Challenge from the World Food Program (WFP) Rwanda by 6 February 2022!

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Impact Hub Kigali (IHK) seek to support innovative entrepreneurs through the IGNITE Food Systems Challenge. Through the Challenge, WFP Rwanda is looking for entrepreneurs with solutions that tackle hunger, improve food security, and strengthen food systems. This Challenge is supported by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs (BHA) and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The inaugural IGNITE Food Systems Challenge will support Rwandan startups, SMEs and cooperatives to scale up their solutions, contributing to the economy while creating a positive social impact by addressing different gaps that exist in food systems. Successful applicants stand to benefit from USD 50,000 in equity-free funding and six months of technical support to strengthen entrepreneurial skills with support from experts and mentors. Additionally, successful applicants will also get an opportunity to network with WFP’s network of public, private, and government partners.

Interested applicants must fulfil the following criteria to apply:

  • Possess a valid registration/certificate of incorporation for operating in Rwanda
  • Have proof of a revenue-generating business (total turnover in the case of cooperatives) of at least the equivalent of 5,000 USD for the year 2020-21
  • Have a team of at least three full-time employees dedicated to the SME/cooperative, including the founding team
  • Have at least 50% of its founding and senior management team from Rwanda/East Africa
  • Have key operations in Rwanda

Note: Ventures that are women-led and have demonstrated action towards promoting women in their supply chain are encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants should apply by 6 February 2022.

For more information about the Challenge, visit: IGNITE Food Systems Challenge

Apply now!


SME Response Clinic irakoresha ikiganiro hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga ku nsanganyamatsiko yerekeranye no gushaka ibisubizo bishoboka bigamije kunoza Imibereho Myiza ya ba Rwiyemezamirimo b’Abagore

SME Response Clinic irakoresha ikiganiro hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga ku nsanganyamatsiko yerekeranye no gushaka ibisubizo bishoboka bigamije kunoza Imibereho Myiza ya ba Rwiyemezamirimo b’Abagore

Kuwa 8 Ukuboza 2021 mu Isomero Rusange Kigali, SME Response Clinic yakoresheje ikiganiro hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga ku nsanganyamatsiko yerekeranye no gushaka ibisubizo bishoboka bigamije kunoza imibereho myiza ya ba rwiyemezamirimo b’abagore. Icyo kiganiro gikorwa hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga ni kimwe mu bice bigize uruhererekane rw’ibiganiro byiswe Kongera kubaka ufite ubuzima bwiza kurushaho byatangijwe n’Ikiganiro cyanyuze kuri radiuo KT Radio kuwa 18 Ukwakira 2021 kikaza gukurikirwa n’ikindi kiganiro cyakozwe hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga ku nsanganyamatsiko yerekeranye n’ingamba zishoboka zo kurwanya umunaniro  cyabaye mu Ugushyingo. Urwo ruhererekane rwakozwe ku bufatanye na  Geruka Healing Centre.

Intego y’icyo kiganiro gikorwa hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga ni ukumenyesha, gutanga ibitekerezo, no gusangira ubumenyi n’ubushobozi abacuruzi b’abagore bashobora gukoresha mu kunoza imibereho myiza yabo bahangana n’ikibazo cy’umunaniro wa buri munsi ukomoka ku mirimo yo gucunga ubucuruzi ari nako buzuza n’izindi nshingano. Byongeye kandi, icyo kiganiro gikorwa hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga kibanze kuri tekiniki zishoboka zo kongera umutekano wo mu rwego rw’imitekerereze n’umusaruro no ku buryo bwo gutanganya neza aho abantu bakorera cyane cyane kuri ba rwiyemezamirimo b’abagore.

Icyo kiganiro cyahuje Madamu Adelite Mukamana, M.Sc akaba inzobere mu bijyanye n’ubuzima bwo mu mutwe n’abacuruzi b’abagore babiri bakomeye aribo Scovia Umutoni na Amina Umuhoza. Madamu Mukamana yatangije ikiganiro atanga urugero rwiza rwari rugamije gufasha abagikurikiranaga kumva byimazeyo ibyerekeranye n’ubuzima bwo mu mutwe n’imibereho myiza:

“Mu mutwe hacu hameze nka moteri y’imodoka iyo ari yo yose. Uko imodoka yaba igaragara neza hanze kose, idafite moteri, ntabwo yashobora kugenda. Imodoka ishobora kugenda gusa iyo moteri ikorana ingufu zayo zose. Mufate ubuzima bwo mu mutwe n’imibereho yanyu muri ubwo buryo.Iyo hari ikintu kitameze neza muri moteri y’imodoka, ushaka umukanishi. Mu gihe wumvise ubuzima bwo mu mutwe cyangwa imibereho yawe itameze neza,  saba ubufasha bwo mu rwego rw’umwuga.” Adelite Mukamana

 

Scovia na Amina buri wese yatumenyesheje ibyamubayeho. Mureke tubyinjiremo maze turusheho kumenya byinshi:

Ibyabaye kuri Scovia :

Scovia Umutoni ni we washinze  KGL Flour Limited, uruganda rutunganya ibihingwa mu rwego rw’ubucuruzi, urwo ruganda rukaba rukora ifu y’ibigori- izwi ku izina rya kawunga- n’ibiryo by’amatungo. Mbere ya COVID-19, yakoraga ahandi hantu, ariko yaje gutakaza akazi ke kimwe n’abandi bantu benshi ubwo icyorezo cyadukaga. Aho kwiheba, yafashe icyemezo cyo gushora amafaranga yari yarizigamiye maze atangiza ubucuruzi bwe bwite. Nubwo byari igitekerezo cyiza, byabaye ibihe bikomeye kubera ko ubwo yatangiraga ubucuruzi bwe, u Rwanda rwagiye muri Guma mu Rugo, ibintu byose bihita bihagarara. Guma mu rugo irangiye, ubwo ubundi bucuruzi bwongeraga gutangira gukora, isoko rya Scovia  ryari rigizwe n’ibigo by’amashuri n’amahoteli ryari ritaratangira gukora. Yatangiye kumva bimubabaje atanabona neza uko ejo hazaza he hazaba hameze. Scovia yahise atekereza vuba noneho afata icyemezo cyo guhindura uburyo bw’imikorere, agamije isoko ryo muri Repubulika iharanira Demokarasi ya Congo (DRC). Ubwo yatangiye kujya aha ibicuruzwa bye abaguzi bo muri DRC guhera ubwo ngubwo. Noneho u Rwanda rutangiye kuzahuka buva mu ngaruka z’icyorezo yongera gutangira kugurisha  ibicuruzwa bye mu Rwanda.  

Scovia akeka ko ba rwiyemezamirimo b’abagore kenshi na kenshi bagira ingorane mu kazi kabo baterwa n’uko ari abagore. Urugero, yagombye gutumiza imashini isya ifu y’ibigori ku mucuruzi w’umugabo, ubwo yatangiriraga ku busa. Uwo mucuruzi yari yaramurangiwe na Rwanda Standard Board. Uwo mucuruzi yabwiye Scovia ko azamuha imashini mu byumweru bibiri. Ariko, ntabwo yabashije kuzuza amasezerano bari bagiranye, ahubwo byarengeje ukwezi kugira ngo amuhe izo mashini. Byabaye ngombwa ko ajyana yo n’inshuti ze magara z’abagabo kugira ngo zimurebere kugira ngo zimufashe guhabwa izo mashini. Ibi byaramubabaje cyane kandi ni kimwe mu bintu bibi cyane yahuye na byo mu kazi ke nka rwiyemezamirimo.

Muri COVID-19, Scovia yasubiye inyuma atekereza ku byari biri kuba noneho atangira gutekereza ku ngamba nshya zigamije kunoza ubucuruzi bwe. Yakoze ibikorwa byinshi byamushimishije kandi byamunogeye mu buzima bwe. Urugero, kumva indirimbo z’Imana nka kimwe mu bintu bigamije gushyigikira ubuzima bwo mu mutwe bwe. Ubuzima bwe nk’umucuruzi ntibubuzemo ingorane- aracyahura n’ingorane nk’umugore ukora mu rwego rwiganjemo abagabo kimwe n’inzitizi zishingiye ku ihagarikwa ry’ingendo bitewe n’icyorezo kigikomeza. Ariko, ntabwo ateganya guhagarika imirimo ye. Scovia yaje kumva ko ingorane zizahoraho igihe cyose kandi ko icy’ingenzi ari ugushaka ibisubizo bigamije guhangana n’izo ngorane.

Ibyabaye kuri Amina:

Amina Umuhoza ni we washinze SAYE – DUKATAZE LTD akaba n’Umuyobozi Mukuru wayo. SAYE ni sosiyete igamije kurwanya inda zitateganyijwe ziterwa abakobwa b’abangavu bitewe n’akato bakorerwa iyo bari mu mihango y’ukwezi. Sosiyete ye iha abagore bato amakuru yerekeranye n’ubuzima bw’imyororokere, imicungire y’isuku igihe bari mu mihango y’ukwezi, ikanabongerera ubushobozi bwo mu rwego rw’ubukungu igurusha ibicuruzwa bakora hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga n’ubwitange bw’abaturanyi.   

Icyorezo cya COVID-19 cyagabanyije cyane ibikorwa bya SAYE . Ntabwo ari ibintu byoroheye sosiyete mu bihe bya Guma mu rugo. Byabaye ngombwa ko sosiyete ikora ibikorwa byayo byose ikoresheje ikoranabuhanga; ibyo bikaba byaratumye Amina na bagenzi be batangira kwibaza niba bazashobora kugera ku ntego bihaye. Amina yagombye guhitamo ibikorwa byihutirwaga kurusha ibindi. Urugero, sosiyete yagombaga gukoresha inyungu yabonaga mu guhemba abakozi imishahara yabo ku buryo babasha gukomeza akazi kandi bakabaho bishimye. Birumvikana, ibi byagize ingaruka zikomeye ku mikorere ya sosiyete no ku mibereho myiza y’abakozi. Bakomeza gukora neza mu gihe cy’icyorezo kubera ko bize kubaho nk’aho ari ibintu bishya ariko bisanzwe.

Nka rwiyemezamirimo w’umugore, imwe mu ngorane ahura nazo ni amagambo atari meza abantu bagenda bavuga, harimo no gukorerwa iterabwoba ku mbuga nkoranyambaga. Urugero, akunda kumva cyangwa agasoma ( ku mbuga nkoranyambaga) iyo sosiyete ye yungutse umufatanyabikorwa mushya cyangwa yafunguye ishami rishya igurishirizamo ibicuruzwa byayo amagambo agira ati:  “uzashyingirwa ryari ?” cyangwa “utegereje kubanza gukira kugira ngo ubone gushaka?” Atekereza ko aya magambo yose akomoka mu muco wacu wakomeje kujya ugenda inyuma y’abagore mu bice byose by’ubuzima. Ariko, ibintu byatangiye guhinduka kubera ko Leta yacu yagiye yigisha abanyarwanda akamaro k’umugore mu iterambere ry’igihugu, iry’umuryango n’iry’umuntu ku giti cye.   

Ibyo bihe ntabwo byoroheye Amina. Ikintu cyamukomereye mu rwego rwo guhangana n’ingorane zifitanye isano n’Icyorezo cya COVID-19 ni ukugira imbaraga zihagije no gukomeza gukora we n’abo bakorana. Kugira ngo babashe kubigeraho, yakoresheje ibihe bya guma mu rugo abibyaza umusaruro uko bishoboka byose, yitekerezaho akanakora imirimo yo mu mpapuro. Ibyo byamuteye akanyabugabo, kandi n’ibyo byiyumviro byamufashije kubasha kugera ku bo bakorana binyuze mu mbuga nkoranyambuga. Amina kandi yagerageje kwita ku bikorwa yari yarasubitse mbere y’icyorezo; ibyo bikorwa bikaba byarahaye SAYE amahirwe mashya nyuma ya guma mu rugo.    

Kongera kubaka ufite ubuzima bwiza kurushaho :

Scovia n’Amina bifuza gutera imbere nk’abacuruzi b’abagore ariko ntabwo byoroshye. Bose amagambo atari meza abageraho ashingiye ku bintu bisanzwe bivugwa hafi ya buri munsi; urugero, igitekerezo kivuga ko ba rwiyemezamirimo b’abagore bashobora gutera imbere gusa ari uko bashatse.  Adelite Mukamana ntabwo yemera ibyo bivugwa. Yaravuze ati : “ Kenshi na kenshi twumva bavuga ko iterambere ry’abagore rishingira ku mugabo. Scovia n’Amina ni ingero zifatika zigaragaza ko rwiyemezamirimo w’umugore ashobora gucunga ubucuruzi bwe neza kandi agatera imbere mu bihe ibyo ari byo byose kandi twizeye ko ari ingero nziza abandi bagore bagenzi bacu bashobora kureberaho muri sosiyete nyarwanda ”.

Ba rwiyemezamirimo bombi bemeranyijwe ku kintu kimwe – umuntu ahitamo imyumvire ye bwite, kandi kugira imyumvire myiza ku bijyanye n’imibereho myiza ni ikintu cy’ingenzi gifasha guhangana n’ibintu bibi. Adelite Mukamana yemera ibi bikurikira: “ Dukora dukurikije uburyo dutekereza kandi dufata icyemezo ku byerekeranye n’uburyo dutekereza”.

Ba rwiyemezamirimo b’abagore by’umwihariko bahura n’ingorane zo guhuza akazi kabo n’ubuzima bwo mu rugo. Amina akeka ko kugira umugabo ugushyigikira kandi wumva icyerekezo cye ari ikintu cy’ingenzi gifasha rwiyemezamirimo w’umugore gutera imbere. Madamu Adelite Mukamana, inzobere mu kazi ke akaba n’umubyeyi, yagiriye inama ba rwiyemezamirimo b’abagore kudatinya kugira imiryango kubera ko umugore ari ikiremwa muntu gishobora gukora imirimo myinshi. Yagiriye inama abagore gukora ibikorwa by’ubucuruzi batitaye ku buzima bwabo bwo mu muryango mu gihe cyose bifitemo icyizere ko bashobora kubikora. Yashimangiye kandi ko abagabo batagomba  guterwa ubwoba n’uko abagore bagira ubushobozi bwo mu rwego rw’ubukungu cyangwa n’iterambere ry’abo bashakanye ahubwo ko bagomba kwibanda ku iterambere ryabo bombi.

Sura urubuga rwa   SME Response Clinic maze ubone inama zigirwa ba rwiyemezamirimo zibafasha gukomeza ubuzima bwo mu mutwe n’imibereho myiza yabo n’iy’abakozi babo. Tubasabye  kandi kujya mukurikirana ku mbuga nkoranyambaga zacu inkuru za ba rwiyemezamirimo ku byerekeranye n’uburyo ibikorwa by’ubucuruzi byabo bishyira imbere ubuzima bwo mu mutwe n’imibereho myiza nk’imwe mu ngamba zo guhangana n’ingorane zatejwe n’icyorezo cya COVID-19. Ushobora kandi kudusanga kuri  YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, na  LinkedIn.


Do you have a tech solution that positively impacts society? Apply for the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge by February 11, 2022!

Do you have a tech solution that positively impacts society? Apply for the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge by February 11, 2022!

Cisco, a multinational technology conglomerate, seeks to support tech startups through their Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge. The aim of this competition is to recognize and reward early-stage entrepreneurs worldwide whose tech business solutions are focused on social impact in their communities.

Successful applicants will benefit from peer and industry validation of their tech solutions and an opportunity for global recognition and publicity for their businesses. Additionally, successful applicants will receive the following cash prizes:

Panel vote:

  • A single team will be awarded USD 250,000 as a grand winner
  • Three teams globally (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia, Asia Pacific, Japan and China) will be awarded USD 75,000 each as regional first runner ups
  • Three teams will be awarded USD 50,000 each as second runners ups

People and employees’ choice:

  • The finalist entry who will receive the most votes will be awarded a people’s choice award, and they will receive USD 10,000.
  • The finalist entry who will receive the most votes will be awarded the Cisco Employees’ Choice award and will receive a cash prize of USD 15,000

Special prizes:

  • Special prizes for climate impact and regeneration prize won by a single team with a cash prize of USD 100,000 for the winner, USD 50,000 for the second runners up and USD 50,000 for the HBCU startup prize.

Interested applicants should fulfil the following conditions to be eligible for the Challenge:

  • Have tech solutions that use digital technology to positively impact society or the environment.
  • Applicants should have tech solutions focusing at least on one of these areas, including water or food security, health care, financial inclusion, education, accessibility, and the environment.
  • Applicants registering as individuals or a team must be above 18 years of age.
  • Applicants registering as business entities should be legally registered with the local authorities.

To apply for the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, visit: CGPSC Application


SME Response Clinic hosts webinar on Practical Solutions for Improving the Wellbeing of Women Entrepreneurs

SME Response Clinic hosts webinar on Practical Solutions for Improving the Wellbeing of Women Entrepreneurs

The SME Response Clinic held a webinar on practical solutions for improving the wellbeing of women entrepreneurs at Kigali Public Library on the 8th of December 2021. The webinar was part of the Building Back Healthier Series that was launched with a talk show on KT Radio on the 18thof October 2021 and followed another webcast on practical strategies to deal with stress held in November. The series is organized in partnership with the Geruka Healing Centre.

The objective of the webinar was to inform, inspire, and share knowledge and skills that businesswomen can use to better their wellbeing when dealing with day-to-day stresses of running a business while managing other responsibilities. In addition, the webinar dove into practical techniques for increasing psychological safety and productivity and how to optimize the workplace especially for women entrepreneurs.

The webinar featured a mental health expert, Adelite Mukamana, M.Sc., with two active businesswomen, Scovia Umutoni and Amina Umhoza. Mme. Mukamana started the session with a fantastic example to help the audience have an in-depth appreciation of mental health and wellbeing:

Our mind is like an engine of any car.  No matter how good-looking the car might seem on the outside, without the engine, it wouldn’t start. The car can only move when the engine is working in full force. Think about your mental health and wellbeing like that. When something is wrong with your car engine, you look for a mechanic. The moment you feel that your mental health or wellbeing is struggling, look for professional help.” 

 

Scovia and Amina each took us through their own experiences. Let’s dive in to learn more:

 

Scovia’s Experience:

Scovia Umutoni is Founder of KGL Flour Limited, an agribusiness factory that produces maize flour – locally known as Kawunga – and animal feed. Before the pandemic, she was employed elsewhere, but she lost her job like many others when the pandemic hit. Undeterred, she decided to invest her savings to create her own business. While exciting, it proved to be a very challenging time because once she started her business operations, Rwanda went into lockdown, putting everything on hold.

By the time lockdown was over, while many businesses were back up and running, Scovia’s target market including schools and hotels were still not operational. She started to feel frustrated and uncertain about the future. Scovia thought quickly and decided to change her approach, targeting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She has been serving customers in DRC since then, and as Rwanda has begun to recover, she has started to deliver her products locally.

Scovia believes that women entrepreneurs often face specific challenges based on the fact they are women. When she ordered a corn flour machine to start her business from a local businessman, Scovia struggled to get the machine in the agreed-upon two week period. It took engaging male friends to visit the provider with her for Scovia to get the machine two weeks later than promised. Scovia is certain that had she been a male entrepreneur, she would not have had to resort to engaging friends to help her. This is just one example of common obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs, many of whom were also disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

During the pandemic, Scovia took a step back to reflect on her businesses and to think of new strategies to improve operations. Recognizing the importance of her own wellbeing, she took a number of actions to improve her mental health, including listening to music. Her business life is not without challenges – she still faces challenges like being a woman in a male-dominated industry and travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic – but she doesn’t intend to stop. Scovia has learned that challenges will always exist, and what is important is to look for solutions to deal with them.

Amina’s Experience:

Amina Umuhoza is Founder and CEO of SAYE – DUKATAZE LTD, which aims to fight unintended pregnancies in young Rwandan women due to menstruation stigma. Her company provides young women with reproductive health information, menstrual hygiene management, and economic empowerment by selling products produced by young women through technology and community engagement.

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed SAYE’s operations, and like many other businesses, the company took its business online during lockdowns. This major shift in operations led Amina and her colleagues to question whether they would attain their goals, and Amina had to work hard to balance competing priorities. For instance, the company had to use profits planned for investment to instead pay employee salaries to ensure proper staffing and employee satisfaction. Choices like these have allowed Amina to ensure SAYE continues delivering on its business and social objectives throughout the challenges of the pandemic.

Like Scovia, Amina also faces challenges unique to being a woman entrepreneur. A key example is negative comments from others, including social media bullying. It is not uncommon for Amina to receive questions about plans to marry when she posts about new products or partnerships. She believes that these comments come from cultural beliefs about the role of women, but things have started to change as the government has been educating Rwandans on the role of a woman in societal, family, and personal development.

The hardest part of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic for Amina was to ensure she was strong and resilient for herself as well as for her co-workers and employees. Amina used the lockdown as productively as possible to ensure a positive mindset, reflecting on herself and catching up on important paperwork. This cheered her up, and that feeling encouraged her to reach out to co-workers through virtual platforms. Amina also managed to take care of action items she had postponed or put off pre-pandemic, which provided SAYE with new opportunities after lockdown.

Building Back Healthier:

Scovia and Amina seek to thrive as businesswomen, but this is not always easy. Both receive negative comments based on stereotypes nearly every day; for example, the idea that as women entrepreneurs they can only be successful if they are married. Adelite Mukamana disagrees with this stereotype. “We often hear that the development of women depends on a man. Scovia and Amina are true examples that a businesswoman can run her business smoothly and shine through all circumstances, and we hope they are good examples to our fellow women in the Rwandan society,” she says.

Both entrepreneurs agreed on one fact – one chooses her or his own mentality, and a positive sense of wellbeing is key to carrying on in the face of adversity. Adelite Mukamana agrees. “We act how we think, and we decide how to think,” she says.

Women entrepreneurs are typically challenged by balancing work and home life. Amina believes that marrying to a partner who supports you and who understands your vision is a crucial element for a success as a businesswoman. Mme Adelite Mukamana, both an expert in her field and a mother, advised businesswomen to not be afraid of having families since a woman is a human being that is capable of carrying out multiple tasks. She advised women to launch businesses regardless of their family lives if they’re confident they can do it. She also pointed out that men shouldn’t be threatened by women’s economic empowerment and their partners’ success but instead focus on growing together.

Visit the SME Response Clinic for tips for entrepreneurs to support their mental health and wellbeing. We also invite you to keep an eye on our social media platforms for entrepreneurs’ stories on how their businesses are prioritizing mental health and wellbeing, as part of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic challenges. You can find us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Submission


Ibiruhuko byiza n’Umwaka Mushya w’Uburumbuke

Ibiruhuko byiza n’Umwaka Mushya w’Uburumbuke

Uko tugenda turushaho kwegera impera z’umwaka wa 2021, SME Response Clinic iri gutekereza ku bikorwa byadufashije kugera ku ntego yacu yo kwegereza ikigo cy’ubucuruzi cyawe  serivisi z’imari kimwe n’ibindi bikorwa bijyanye no guteza ubucuruzi imbere. Turabashimira cyane kubera ubufasha mwaduhaye muri uyu mwaka kandi turifuza gukomeza gukorana namwe mu mwaka wa 2022.

Dore bimwe mu bikorwa twakoze muri 2021.

Ibihembo byatanzwe na SME Response Clinic

Muri Werurwe 2021, SME Response Clinic yatangije ubukangurambaga bwa Twiteze Imbere (Let’s Move Forward) bwari bugamije gushimira uruhare ibigo by’ubucuruzi bito byagize mu kuzahura ubukungu bw’u Rwanda bwari bwarazahajwe n’Icyorezo cya COVID-19. Igikorwa nyamukuru cy’ubwo bukangurambaga cyari  ukugena ibigo by’ubucuruzi byahabwaga n’abantu benshi amahirwe yo kwegukana igihembo. Hagenwe ibigo by’ubucuruzi bitatu byari  muri buri kimwe mu byiciro bitatu bikurikira :  ibigo biyobowe n’abagore, ibigo bigitangira, n’ibigo byashinze imizi. Buri kigo cyahawe igihembo cy’amafaranga y’u Rwanda miliyoni imwe na serivisi z’ubujyanama butangwa n’inzobere.

Ubufatanye na Banki ya KCB.

Muri Kanama 2021, SME Response Clinic yatangije ubufatanye na Banki ya KCB. Ubwo bufatanye bwari bugamije guhuza ba rwiyemezamirimo n’ikigo gitanga serivisi z’imari. Abakoresha serivisi z’imari barenga 900 bagize icyo bavuga ku butumwa bwanyuze ku mbuga nkoranyambaga bujyanye n’ubufatanye bwacu na Banki ya KCB. Ba rwiyemezamirimo barenga 30 babajije ibibazo ku bijyanye n’ibicuruzwa byo mu rwego rw’imari bicuruzwa na Banki ya KCB; bahamagara mu buryo butaziguye bifashishije umurongo utishyurwa wa Banki ya KCB.   

Kongera kubaka ufite ubuzima bwiza kurushaho.

Mu Ukwakira 2021, twatangije ibiganiro by’uruhererekane rwiswe Kongera kubaka ufite ubuzima bwiza kurushaho; bikaba ari ibikorwa by’imibereho myiza yo mu mutwe bigamije gufasha ba rwiyemezamirimo guhangana n’ibibazo by’imibereho myiza yo mu mutwe bagenda bahura nabyo bitewe n’icyorezo cya COVID-19. Uwo mushinga washyizwe mu bikorwa ku bufatanye n’ikigo gitanga serivisi z’imibereho myiza yo mu mutwe cya Geruka Healing Center. Binyuze muri uwo mushinga twakoresheje ikiganiro kimwe gihita kuri radiyo n’ibiganiro bibiri bihita  hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga bihuza ba rwiyemezamirimo bakomeye bo mu Rwanda n’inzobere mu bijyanye n’imibereho myiza yo mu mutwe. Abantu banyuranye bagize uruhare muri ibyo biganiro mpaka, noneho bakoresha ibyo biganiro byakorwaga hifashishijwe ikoranabuhanga nk’urubuga rwo kwigiramo, kubaza ibibazo, no kugeza ku bandi bimwe mu byo bakoze mu rwego rwo kwiyitaho kugirango babashe gucunga ibikorwa by’ubucuruzi bwabo uko bikwiye.

Usibye kandi ibyo bikorwa by’ingenzi, twatanze  n’inama zo mu rwego rw’ubucuruzi, urw’imibereho myiza, n’izijyanye n’amahirwe yo kubona imari no kongera ubushobozi ari ku isoko. Twizeye ko mugenda musatira umwaka mushya mufite icyizere cyinshi kandi twifuza ko mwazakomeza gukorana natwe kuberako tubereyeho kubafasha guteza imbere ubucuruzi bwanyu.

Muri urwo rwego, tubifurije kuzagira Ibiruhuko Byiza n’Umwaka Mushya w’Uburumbuke!


Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year.

As we come closer to the end of the year 2021, the SME Response Clinic would like to reflect on the initiatives that helped us achieve our objective of bringing your business closer to financial services and other business development initiatives. We are so grateful for the support you afforded us throughout the year and we look forward to your continued collaboration in the year 2022.

Here are some of the key initiatives we engaged in for the year 2021.

SME Response Clinic Awards

In March 2021, the SME Response Clinic launched the Twiteze Imbere (Let’s Move Forward) campaign to recognise small businesses’ role in Rwanda’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign’s main activity involved the nomination of favourite businesses by the general public. Three businesses from three categories (women-led, start-up and established) were nominated and each received a cash prize of 1 million Rwandan Francs and expert advisory services.

KCB Bank Partnership.

In August 2021, the SME Response Clinic entered into a partnership with KCB Bank Rwanda. The partnership was aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with a financial service provider. Over 900+ users engaged with our KCB Bank related content posted on the site. Over 30 entrepreneurs submitted inquiries into KCB Bank’s financial products with more calling directly to KCB Bank’s helpline.

Building Back Healthier Series.

In October 2021, we launched the Building Back Healthier series, a mental wellness initiative aimed at supporting entrepreneurs to deal with the mental wellness challenges they faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative was implemented in partnership with a local mental wellness service provider Geruka Healing Center. We held one radio show and two webinars featuring prominent entrepreneurs in Rwanda and experts in mental wellness through the initiative.  The general public participated in these discussions, and they used the webinars as a platform to learn, ask, and share some of their experiences on how they have managed to practice self-care to run their businesses efficiently.

Away from the key initiatives, we also shared business tips, wellness tips, and funding and capacity building opportunities available in the market. We hope you approach the new year with much optimism, and we look forward to your continued engagement with us as we work to help you grow your business.

With that in mind, we would like to wish you Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!


Do you have a tech initiative that drives civic participation? Apply for Round I of the Africa Union Civic Tech Fund by 16 January 2022! 

Do you have a tech initiative that drives civic participation? Apply for Round I of the Africa Union Civic Tech Fund by 16 January 2022! 

The African Union Civic Tech Fund is a pan-African competition seeks to support innovative civic initiatives that demonstrate the potential to lead to citizen-led transformative action across the African continent. Through the Fund, select initiatives will be awarded financial support ranging from EUR 10,000 to EUR 20,000 over an implementation period of six months to be focused on upscaling, adaptation, or replication of pre-existing civic tech initiatives. Support may also be channeled towards funding the deployment of civic technology in partnership with a particular citizen group or civil society that does not have the expertise to do so independently.  

In addition to financial support, the Fund will also provide technical support, including:  

  • Technical support 
    • Virtual inception/acceleration week (hosted by AfriLabs)
    • Provision of embedded technical expertise through the engagement of civic tech specialists 
  • Thematic support 
    • Provision of thematic expertise on democracy support, African Union governance & continental policymaking 
  • Marketing, communication & showcasing support 
    • Facilitation of access to decision-makers at the African Union level as well as the international development community 
  • Peer-to-peer learning & networking  
    • Facilitation of exchange between recipients and other members of related civic tech ecosystems 

Priorities for the Fund are across relevant areas such as participation in public space and public discourse, electoral cycles and elections, rule of law and orderly transfers of power between governments, democratic culture and political pluralism, peace and security, and human, economic, and sustainable development. An example of a potential initiative would be one that may propose to leverage technology to enable citizens to have a voice on key issues within their constituencies such as by encouraging participation in digital councils.  

Interested applicants must fulfill the following to apply: 

  • Legal entity 
  • Registered in an African Union Member State 
  • Able to sign a service contract agreement (as opposed to a grant contract agreement) 
  • Not be bankrupt, in the process of being wound up, nor have its affairs administered by the courts 
  • Must not have received an adverse audit opinion from its own auditors or its donors’ auditor 
  • Must have policies in place and/or practices in place to guarantee the ethical management of personal identifiable information 

Proposals are due 16 January 2022. Preliminary award decisions will be made in February 2022, with implementation set to take place between April and September 2022.  

For more information about the Fund, visit: CIVIC TECH FUND 

To apply, visit: CIVIC TECH FUND Application 


Apply for the Open Innovation Program by 23 December 2021!

Apply for the Open Innovation Program by 23 December 2021!

Inkomoko Business Development, in partnership with Make-IT in Africa and Digital Solutions for Development, seeks to support startups in SMART cities, EdTech and AgriTech through the Open Innovation Program (OIP). The OIP aims to help tech startups nurture and scale their products by increasing their engagement with existing or prospective stakeholders.

Through the program, 15 tech startups will be selected to participate in a four months accelerator that will help them roll out their solutions to the market. Additionally, participants will be offered more customized support to scale their product to the local and regional markets. This will include product development support, market access, legal and accounting support, and multiple opportunities to network with potential investors.

Interested businesses should fulfil the following criteria to apply:

  •  Tech or tech-enabled product/solution must fall under one of the three sectors: Smart cities, AgriTech, or EdTech
  • Must have an MVP tested in the market and present some traction (e.g. sales, users, reviews
  • Product or service must create a positive social or environmental impact
  • Should have been in operation for at least 6 months
  • The team should be based in Rwanda, and the solution should be implemented in Rwanda
  • Should be committed to working with the open innovation approach

Women-led startups are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, visit: Open Innovation Program Application

For any inquiries about OIP, contact:

Phone: 0788358639

Email: info@inkomoko.com