Press Release - For Immediate Release

Kigali, Rwanda - 18 March 2021

SME Response Clinic Launches Campaign to Recognise the Role of Small Businesses in Rwanda’s COVID-19 Recovery

A version of this Press Release was originally posted on the SME Response Clinic

The SME Response Clinic, a platform powered by Access to Finance Rwanda and ConsumerCentriX in collaboration with the Private Sector Federation, the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda, African Management Institute, New Faces New Voices Rwanda, and Rwanda Bankers’ Association, has today launched a campaign to recognise and celebrate the role of small businesses in Rwanda’s road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The SME Response Clinic is a platform launched in 2020 to support small and medium-sized enterprises to overcome challenges brought about by COVID-19 through resources and learning opportunities.

The three-week campaign is called ‘Twiteze Imbere’ (Let’s Move Forward Together) and will share stories of small business resilience, encourage entrepreneurs and business owners to utilise SME Response Clinic resources, and celebrate exceptional businesses through the inaugural SME Response Clinic Business Awards.

Over the course of the campaign, the general public and other business owners will be invited to nominate their favourite small businesses for a SME Response Clinic Business Award. Nominations are open in the categories of women-owned businesses, start-up or innovative businesses, and established businesses. The winner in each category will receive a cash prize of one million Rwandan francs to invest in their business as well as expert advisory services. Nominations are open from 18 March until 2 April 2021. Selected runners-up will be sponsored to participate in the African Management Institute’s Survive to Thrive programme. Through this programme, business owners will be equipped with the skills, tools, and strategies to navigate challenges and thrive in difficult times, and network with other entrepreneurs in Rwanda and across Africa.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Rwanda’s economy and employ the vast majority of people across the country. The ‘Twiteze Imbere’ campaign celebrates this and recognises their contribution to Rwanda’s recovery from the pandemic. I encourage all Rwandans to nominate their favourite small business for the SME Response Clinic Business Awards as a great way to show support for local business and the role they play in our day-to-day lives,” said Jean Bosco Iyacu, Country Director, Access to Finance Rwanda.

“We’re delighted to launch this campaign to celebrate the tremendous resilience of entrepreneurs in Rwanda. The SME Response Clinic Business Awards are one way we hope to honor and further support the small businesses that have been pillars of the communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anna Gincherman, Partner, ConsumerCentriX.

Learn more about the campaign and nominate your favourite small business at www.smeresponse.clinic/awards or by calling 0781024420.

About the SME Response Clinic

In May 2020, Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) partnered with ConsumerCentriX to launch the SME Response Clinic – a platform that supports entrepreneurs in Rwanda struggling in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The SME Response Clinic provides access to training, industry insights, and financial management advice to entrepreneurs in Rwanda struggling to adjust to the economic realities of COVID-19. Access the platform at smeresponse.clinic

About Access to Finance Rwanda

AFR began its operations in 2010 with the core objective of stimulating the development of the financial sector in Rwanda. AFR’s intention is to remove the systemic barriers that hinder access to financial services by putting low-income people particularly the rural poor and women at the centre of its interventions. AFR supports the development and provision of financial services including savings, credit, insurance, payments, and remittances. Learn more at afr.rw.

Media Contact

For any enquiries or more information, write to musa.kacheche@consumercentrix.ch or reach out to Emile Ndayambaje, AFR Communications Manager, at emile@afr.rw.