Introducing the SME Response, access to finance for refugees Clinic

Introducing the SME Response Clinic

The Private Sector Federation, Access to Finance Rwanda and ConsumerCentriX in a Joint Covid-19 Response Partnership for Support to Rwanda’s Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises.


Kigali – 5th May 2020: To support entrepreneurs in Rwanda struggling to adjust to the economic realities of Covid-19, the Rwanda Private Sector Federation has partnered with Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) and ConsumerCentriX on the SME Response Clinic. This digital platform will translate new policies and financial advice using a clear and straightforward language in both English and Kinyarwanda.

With 148,092 MSMEs in Rwanda representing 99.7 percent of the businesses according to the Integrated Business Enterprise Survey (2017) by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), this sector plays a pivotal role in the country’s socio-economic development.

However, getting access to the right information, training, and finance is no easy feat. Even before the crisis, a number of studies, including ConsumerCentriX’s research in May 2019 and Private Sector Federation’s Business and Climate Survey April 2019 respectively indicate MSME owners face several critical challenges even at the time of economic growth and stability.

The consequences of COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbate challenges faced by MSMEs by significantly reducing their business activities and financial security. The Rwandan government and financial sector have taken several significant measures to support MSMEs during this challenging period.  To ensure that these important measures are communicated to MSMEs in an accessible and timely manner,  the Private Sector Federation in partnership with Access to Finance Rwanda and ConsumerCentriX developed the SME Response Clinic, a digital platform that translates relevant policies and financial advice to the SMEs.

For high quality and relevant content, interviews will be regularly conducted with financial service providers, industry experts, policymakers, and MSMEs. All information will be centralized on the SME Response Clinic website and promoted through SMS, social media campaigns, and different media channels.

“Being the catalyst of a deeper and inclusive financial sector in Rwanda, Access to Finance Rwanda sees the MSME Response Clinic as a key tool in addressing information asymmetry between policymakers, Financial Services Providers and the MSMEs. It also provides an opportunity to understand the real needs of SMEs so as to be able to effectively support them during this unprecedented crisis of Covid-19” said Waringa Kibe, AFR Country Director.

Ms. Anna Gincherman, Partner of ConsumerCentriX believes that if well implemented, the new partnership will yield positive results for the Country’s private sector. “As the leading implementing agency for this project, ConsumerCentriX is well-positioned to accomplish the project objectives due to its extensive background in SME development in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Rwanda, its expertise in working with financial service providers and regulators, and its in-house capacity to manage digital communication,” she added.

Meanwhile, The Private Sector Federation Chief Executive officer Mr. Stephen Ruzibiza commended the new partnership adding that it has come at the right time when MSMEs need strong recovery approaches in terms of various aspects including to the right information and access to finance.

“We welcome this partnership as the SME Response Clinic will provide and collect needed information that will enable key stakeholders to support the resilience of the MSME Sector in this period of Covid-19, ” said Mr. Ruzibiza.

Through a partnership with the African Management Institute (AMI), the SME Response Clinic will be promoting a series of webinars and virtual programs to help entrepreneurs adjust to new realities and ensure resiliency for the future.

Visit the SME Response Clinic


For more information, please contact.

Eric Kabera
Head of Communications & Marketing
Phone: +250784113224
Emile Ndayambaje
Communications & Market Development Manager
Access to Finance Rwanda
Phone: + 250 788 270 426
Ana Singh
Communication & Media Specialist
Phone: +1 (917) 806-9108