Urwego Opportunity Bank offers loans to Rwandan micro businesses

Sep 22, 2011

Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) has provided loans to rural and agricultural micro businesses in Rwanda.

Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) has provided loans to rural and agricultural micro businesses in Rwanda.

In total, Rwf6.6 billion (€8.27 million) has been offered to more than 37,000 enterprises in a bid to ensure they become competitive and sustainable companies, the New Times reports.

Currently, 90 percent of the 110,000 clients using the financial firm's services are based in rural parts of the country, 80 percent of which being women, meaning the change will affect a significant number of people.

Despite agriculture a significant contributor to Rwanda's Gross Domestic Product (34.15 percent), there is an undersupply of financial resources allocated to the sector at just five percent.

Jeffrey Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Urwego Opportunity Bank, said: "By providing linkage loans we are enhancing access to credit to the informal sector to be able to join the formal sector."

He also noted that poorer individuals living in rural areas need access to flexible services and extending the reach of the bank could have positive social implications.

Microfinance is developing quickly in Rwanda as 57 percent of the population live below the poverty line and it gives them better opportunities to accessing finance, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports.ADNFCR-2976-ID-800737216-ADNFCR