Rwanda, Belgian Entity Sign Deal to Empower Local Startups

Rwanda startups are set to receive fully-funded training and business loans buoyed by the new partnership between Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Belgium-based Ondernemers Voor Ondernemers (OVO) loosely translated as Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs.

The partnership will see the latter’s Sustainable Technology for Africa programme established in Rwanda.

OVO’s initiative will be set up in Rwanda to provide debt and expert capital for Rwandan start-up businesses.

Zephanie Niyonkuru, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of RDB believes that the partnership joins the country’s raft of economic recovery strategies available to Rwandan business owners who have been impacted by Covid-19.

“Therefore, we look forward to having the entrepreneurs succeed in creating decent and productive jobs as well as increasing exports through the programme,” he concluded.

For Björn Macauter, the General Manager of OVO, it is an honor and pleasure to be able to work with Rwandans whom he said have been showcasing a great passion to develop their business acumen.

“We are very excited for this partnership with RDB and we are also excited to return to Rwanda for our SusTech4Africa programme”.

“We’re bullish on Rwanda and that’s why we’re making a three-year commitment to working with and financing Rwandan companies contributing to the economic and social transformation of Rwanda,” he commented.

The sustainable Technology for Africa Programme is a tailor-made six-month to support Rwandan start-ups in their pathway to growth.

Upon acceptance, the company is paired with a Belgium-based team of experts and coaches, who offer the technical assistance and strategic guidance needed in regular mentoring sessions.

Every 10-15 Rwanda start-ups transforming their local communities, according to the released joint statement, upon completing the programme, will receive a loan of up to Rwf 61.2 million (50,000 Euros).

The call for application will open in March 2021.

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