The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a 5-year project to help grow small and medium businesses in the agricultural sector, and create non-farm jobs in Rwanda.
The project, called Nguriza Nshore (“Lend So That I May Invest”), will work with financial institutions and private investors to facilitate loans and investments that total Frw39.5 billion in private funds to small and medium businesses.
The official event launch was held at the Kigali Convention Center on Thursday morning, and was attended by Michel Sebera, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Trade and Industry, Peter Vrooman the US Ambassador to Rwanda, and others.
Nguriza Nshore is designed to facilitate over Frw13 billion in loans from financial institutions, and over Frw26 billion in private investment for off-farm small and medium businesses.
Nguriza Nshore will also work with a variety of government ministries to support the development and implementation of policies, regulations, and strategies that foster growth in both number and size of Rwandan small and medium businesses.
The USAID activity will run from 2018 to 2023, in partnership with the government of Rwanda, and is estimated to create 30,000 new jobs.
The Nguriza Nshore activity—funded through the US Government’s Feed the Future initiative—is designed to facilitate financing for small and medium Rwandan businesses that are not yet realizing the benefits of Rwanda’s strong economic performance.
The activity will do so by providing financial training and business support to promising firms while also supporting financial and non-financial institutions to develop and test products, services, and strategies that are more tailored to the needs of growing businesses.
Nguriza Nshore will use new methods and approaches that will reduce the risk of lending to growing businesses.
By growing, these businesses will further contribute to the country’s GDP expansion, thereby creating off-farm jobs and economic opportunities for generations of Rwandans across the country.
The project will ensure women, youth, and people with disabilities are included; Nguriza Nshore will remove constraints that hamper access to finance, and improve the ability to find and create jobs.
And while working with financial institutions and local, regional and international investors, Nguriza Nshore, will help achieve the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2050 strategy, which envisions Rwanda as a financial services hub in East Africa.