The SME Response Clinic is a digital platform powered by ConsumerCentriX, Access to Finance Rwanda, and Rwanda Private Sector Federation to support small and medium enterprises in Rwanda struggling to adjust to the economic realities of COVID-19. To provide much-needed training opportunities for the entrepreneurs, the SME Response Clinic joined forces with the African Management Institute.

Testimonial: Justine Ntaganda, Owner, La Corniche Hotel in Rubavu and Nyabihu, and Salma Nkusi, Manager (it is a family business)

Justine Ntaganda and Salma Nkusi operate the “La Corniche” hotels in two locations in Rwanda, Rubavu and Nyabihu. The hospitality and tourism industry has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the mother-daughter team has found that the AMI trainings have provided an opportunity to take a step back, learn new business skills, and make decisions that will help the hotels to thrive in the future.

What was most valuable for you about the AMI trainings?

“My daughter Salma and I have benefited enormously from the tools shared by AMI. For me personally, the advice shared on tools for better collaboration helped us to choose to use “One Drive” to share information. The tool for analyzing clients’ needs was also an interesting exercise during this time because demand has changed a lot. It is important that we adapt and continue to do our business.” ~ Justine Ntaganda

With the AMI tools, we are now able to check our books on a weekly basis, track cashflow and be accountable. Now, we even have a meeting on a weekly basis with our staff using the data and make decisions about where we stand. Where do we need to cut, for example?

These tools are helping with day-to-day management and the trainings have provided content in an understandable way. What’s more, the session on goal setting has been very great. Now as a team we talk and think together about our long-term goals and put them in writing as well. This helps us to prioritize and to decide how we will track our progress together.

“AMI is pushing me towards the implementation of all of these new ideas that I had but weren’t written down, and didn’t have a timeline –the tools are great, and looking at budgeting of the organization is something that we need to have in place for banks in terms of funding, too.” ~ Salma Nkusi

How has AMI supported you?

For us, it has been like going back to school, only for our personal growth and for the benefit of our business. AMI has helped us create a budget, and not only that, but to learn how to communicate with our staff so that they clearly see that there are reasons that we make the financial decisions we need to make.

One other interesting area of support from AMI is their “A New Rise” daily meditation. It’s another way to start your day by clearing your mind, breathing, and planning instead of waking up and feeling as if you are just facing emergencies.