The partnership will provide 2,500 Micro Small Medium Enterprises and entrepreneurs access to free, virtual business skills programmes in response to COVID-19. Kigali, Rwanda – 16 November, 2020 – The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the African Management Institute (AMI) have signed a cooperation agreement to support AMI in providing 2,500 MSMEs with free business recovery and growth tools to help them bounce back from the impact of COVID-19.
The new partnership will contribute to Rwanda’s economic recovery strategy of investing in micro, small and medium sized enterprises. Businesses from across the country are invited to apply for the virtual business development programmes, which will be delivered in Kinyarwanda and English.
AMI will offer both its popular one-month Business Survival Bootcamp programme and a longer six-month Survive to Thrive programme.
This opportunity has been made possible thanks to financial support from Mastercard Foundation’s Covid-19 Response and Resilience Programme.
Commenting on the partnership, Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer at RDB, said: “Rwandan businesses of all sizes have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We have seen many innovative responses that have led us to become more self-reliant and put an added focus on practical skills and tools to help businesses get back on their feet, adapt and prepare for growth in the future. Most importantly, businesses don’t need to wait to start making changes. The skills and tools business owners gain can be applied immediately through AMI’s virtual expert-driven learning experience, online platform and Android mobile app. We encourage businesses across Rwanda to take advantage of this free programme.”
Through the agreement with the Rwanda Development Board and with support from the Mastercard Foundation, AMI’s virtual Business Survival Bootcamp and Survive to Thrive programmes will be offered on an ongoing basis from November 2020 to April 2022.
Diederik Wokke, Rwanda Country Manager for AMI, said: “Since 2014, AMI’s programmes across Africa have created an average of 3.1 jobs per SME and boosted revenue by an average of 19%. With proven results, AMI is well placed to work with Rwandan businesses during this critical time of economic recovery. We’re excited to work with business owners and entrepreneurs to help their businesses thrive, and we encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity by applying today.”
AMI’s Business Survival Bootcamp is a one-month course designed to help businesses make it through the current crisis with access to interactive online workshops, digital tools and guidance, and the opportunity to connect with other businesses. The more in-depth Survive to Thrive programme is a six-month course which enables businesses to innovate, prepare for the future and grow again.
The programmes aim to increase the number of businesses that recover strongly from the current crisis, while retaining staff and creating additional jobs, especially for women and young people. The first Business Survival Bootcamp will begin on 24 November and the first Survive to Thrive courses kick-off at the start of 2021. All programmes will be fully virtual to fit around the schedules of busy business owners and ensure the health and well-being of participants.
“The African Management Institute really helped by connecting us with other entrepreneurs. AMI understood the difficulties we face and shared ideas on how we can survive. We really appreciate the programme,” said Elia Mugume, CEO at TASS Gateway and Travels and past Business Survival Bootcamp participant.
Applications are now open for both the Survival Bootcamp and the Survive to Thrive programmes, and AMI encourages applications and enquiries from Rwandan business owners in all sectors.
Businesses and entrepreneurs can apply for the programmes at www.africanmanagers.org/rwanda or by sending their email to +250 787 339 435 via SMS or WhatsApp.