The foundation Inclusive Trading Initiative (ITI) is focusing on business development initiatives in Rwanda since 2017. A fascinating project of ITI is Equip Rwanda Ltd. This is a social enterprise established in 2020 with the vision to build the capacity of micro and small entrepreneurs MSME’s in Rwanda through training and coaching as well as through operational lease of relevant equipment. MSMEs are the driver of the economy in Rwanda. In Kigali alone there are more than 135,000 MSMEs active. Every year around 7,000 entrepreneurs are starting new businesses in Kigali. As Equip Rwanda we target these SME’s to unlock their God given potential to develop a successful business, become a successful trust worthy entrepreneur and through that create employment. Micro Enterprises create jobs for 1-3 people while Small Enterprises employ 4-30 persons. The past years Equip Rwanda has trained about 1,000 entrepreneurs and over 300 have acquired a lease contract.
Lack of entrepreneurial skills
Successful entrepreneurs are recognized through their ability to incorporate the key entrepreneurial skills in their day to day running of their businesses. It’s about the 10 following skills like:
If you take a closer look at these skills, you can see the biblical foundation behind these skills. We believe that when entrepreneurs are aware of these principles and related attitude, they become better entrepreneurs and with that their business will become stronger. The Equip Business Network intends to guide entrepreneurs in creating awareness of their entrepreneurial abilities as well as the biblical foundation. It will foresee in a program that will help the entrepreneurs in developing a biblical lifestyle and to build their entrepreneurial skills.
‘Through the training of Equip Rwanda I learned that record keeping is essential as well as to separate family money from business money. Now I’m much better capable of managing my finances.’ – Claudine an entrepreneur active in catering
The network of businesses where Equip Rwanda ltd (ERL) is in connection with is growing. The businesses are not only direct clients but there is a wider network of MSMEs. The intended Equip Business Network will be established with the purpose to facilitate practical capacity building of the business community through training, sharing of experiences and knowledge in peer group meetings.
Each peer group of 15-20 entrepreneurs will meet regularly under the supervision of a business mentor. The business mentor will be a selected entrepreneur from Equip Rwanda Ltd where the team has a good relationship with and whereby the team is convinced he/she is a committed Christian and who is capable in leading discussions in the peer group. The business mentors will receive training and coaching of the staff of Equip Rwanda ltd. The groups will meet regularly, approximately ones every 2-3 weeks.
During the peer-to-peer meetings the groups will be trained in business ethics and principles based on biblical principles. Through this process we build good relationships with entrepreneurs. Besides we also spread a better understanding how they can build a biblical lifestyle in doing business. We believe that in the meetings of the groups God’s Spirit will be present. Next to that, Equip Rwanda will organize annually a special business event for its clients to further build their capacity and networking capabilities.
The program intends to have lasting impact on the lives of at least 400 entrepreneurs in the coming 2-3 years. With refer to statistics, Micro Enterprises create employment for about 1-3 employees. This means that if a Micro Enterprise doubles its operations it will generate 1-3 extra jobs. Since we are aiming to reach 400 MSMEs we expect to create between 400-1,200 new jobs. Most importantly, in 2026 we will have a strong network of 400 entrepreneurs in Rwanda founded in the same Christian principles.
The total budget to start and to run this program in the first 3 years of its operation is estimated for USD 100,000. This amount is needed to hire staff people running the program, to rent office space and to pay for PR and marketing. After the first 3 years, the program can be facilitated by the profits of Equip Rwanda ltd.
In the past years, MissionInvest the Netherlands has raised over USD 400,000 loan capital for Equip Rwanda to provide small business loans to the MSME’s. That part of the project is running very well. Therefore, we very much welcome this new project to also address the networking and spiritual needs of the business people in providing guidance from a biblical perspective based upon Christian values. MissionInvest USA has already raised the first USD 40,000 for this project and hence we are seeking financial support for the remaining USD 60,000.
Please help us to build the Kingdom amongst businesspeople in Rwanda!