Kigali, Rwanda — ESPartners (ESP) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Hanga Ahazaza initiative has launched their fourth call for applications for innovative start-ups to join its Tourism Inc program, an incubator for start-ups in the Tourism and Hospitality sector in Rwanda.
Having graduated two cohorts already, with a third gearing up to join the Alumni community, Tourism Inc is excited to launch its recruitment of the next group of dynamic young entrepreneurs to join this innovative training program.
Inadequate skills, access to financing, and lack of role models are key challenges that prevent youth from starting and growing a business in Tourism and Hospitality in Rwanda and beyond. In response, Tourism Inc plans to select 25 young entrepreneurs in the fourth cohort to receive the right mix of skills-building, financing, and guidance to grow the next generation of leaders in this sector.
“Tourism Inc has been supportive in taking my business to the next level, allowing my team to launch, and run our products with thorough guidance. They have trained us to be innovative problem solvers, and with that we have been able to stay in business by launching new services that can still operate regardless of this pandemic. Being part of Tourism Inc has enabled me to collaborate and share ideas with other female entrepreneurs with strong business attitudes, and it has revived my hope that Rwanda’s Tourism industry will survive this pandemic and come back even stronger,” said Sandra Gatete, Co-founder of City Buddiz and a graduate of the program.
Beyond capacity-building and access to finance, the high-performing entrepreneurs in this cohort will also receive seed funding grants to further build their ventures. The program will nurture Rwanda’s innovative Tourism and Hospitality businesses, and inspire them, to embrace entrepreneurship as a viable career path.
“ESP’s Tourism Inc program is uniquely designed to develop the next generation of business leaders in Rwanda’s Tourism and Hospitality sector; and we’re already seeing a positive impact in our Alumni community. We are very excited about the continued collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation to empower young people, especially women, through entrepreneurship,” said Charity Kabango, Co-founder and Director at Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP).
“To thrive in a post-pandemic world, the Tourism and Hospitality sector will need the creativity of young people. The Foundation is committed to this ongoing partnership with ESPartners to develop and hone the innovators that will expand the prosperity and opportunity available in this sector,” said Rica Rwigamba, Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation.
ESP is accepting applications now for the fourth cohort of this program. Applicants who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply:
● Must be a start-up (or have start-up idea) in the Tourism and Hospitality sector (or supplier to the sector).
● Must be a young person (18-35 years old).
● Must be based in Rwanda.
● Must have a commitment to complete the 6-month program.
● Women entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to apply.
ESP will be hosting online information sessions to provide interested Tourism and Hospitality entrepreneurs with further details on the program and on how to apply.
For more information:
Visit the ESPartners website: espartners.co or Contact ESPartners Rwanda by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners
Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP) aims to enable innovative, scalable, and profitable enterprises to build prosperity. Our mission is “to foster entrepreneurial solutions for prosperity.” ESP enables people, firms, institutions, and nations to articulate and implement solutions to their economic challenges.
ESP’s approach is to provide Intelligent Capital™—the right combination of insights and capital—to address critical societal issues. We provide consulting and strategy advisory services to diverse clients, including governments, businesses, and development partners in Africa. We support innovative models and provide leadership training and entrepreneurial boot camps. With offices in Abidjan and Kigali, ESP has been in operation since 2011. For more information, visit www.espartners.co and follow ESP at @es_partners on Twitter.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org