Rwanda: BRD grants €1.2m to support SMEs

Dec 22, 2014

The funding will allow Urwego Opportunity Bank to improve access to affordable credit for SMEs.

The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) has granted an Rwf1 billion (€1.2 million) short-term loan to Urwego Opportunity Bank to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda.

The goal is to ease access to affordable credit and boost economic growth, BRD chief executive officer Alex Kanyankole said.

"Our objective is to serve all the segments of the market ... We are confident that this partnership will enable Urwego Bank to finance the SMEs that the BRD has not been able to serve. Our ultimate objective is to ensure that people access affordable credit, while the lender also makes a profit. This is how we shall be able to boost financial inclusion," he was quoted by the New Times as saying.

Emmanuel Mawocha Tineyi, Urwego's chief executive officer, said this line of credit will help the bank target over 100,000 SMEs - especially farmers - and will complement the ongoing efforts to expand its network.

This announcement comes a few days after the Business Development Fund (BDF) - which provides guarantees, lines of credit, grants and advisory services - announced it is changing its business model to improve
access to finance
for SMEs in
Rwanda.

The change will see prospective businesses approach the BDF directly for appraisal before projects can be submitted to banks for funding, with a view to improving the number of successful bids.

The BDF said financing requirements will be better understood and SMEs will approach banks with more preparation.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801767038-ADNFCR