This initiative that commenced in 2019, has supported more than 1,000 women saving groups so far, both financially and through business acumen training.
In line with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion’s priority of gender equality and empowering women, Connecting Women in Business aims to empower women in their respective projects, growing them to cooperative level allowing them to further improve their quality of life.
Jackline Kamanzi, National Women’s Council Executive Secretary has said that women are the backbone of families whereby empowering them benefits the entire family and community at large.
"We are grateful to MTN Rwanda for continuing to drive this impactful initiative year in year out. These saving-groups are essential as they play a role in eradicating poverty, sustaining their families, and growing our nation,” she noted.
The MTN Foundation funded initiative selected saving groups from all over the country with five saving groups in the category of Agriculture, five in Art, and four under Fintech and women with disabilities respectively.
These seventeen savings groups were chosen out of a total of four hundred (400) groups based on the performance of their ongoing projects and vision.
This phase of identifying the savings groups was supported by AEE Rwanda, a local Christian NGO dedicated to working with families to eradicate poverty and NUDOR, the umbrella organization that exists to strengthen the voice of persons with disabilities in Rwanda.
Following their selection in their respective categories, the saving groups underwent the second phase of the competition, where judges from MTN Rwanda, National Women Council and NUDOR assessed them and selected the top three (3) winners from each category who then competed in the final round in Kigali where a winner for each of the four (4) categories was announced as well as an Overall Winner who won the grand prize of Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Rwandan Francs (Rwf 2.5 million).
The grand prize amount has been increased for this edition of Connecting Women in Business in recognition of MTN Rwanda turning twenty-five (25) this year, giving the winning group an even greater opportunity to invest in projects to support their families and communities.
Zulfat Mukarubega, MTN Rwanda Foundation Chairperson highlighted that it is pleasing to hear the various projects from these women saving groups.
"These women are intelligent, hardworking, and resilient. We would like to thank the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion through the National Women Council for their support and our partners AEE Rwanda and NUDOR, who have been instrumental in selecting the savings groups and following up with their respective projects. Congratulations to the winners and we hope this will be an encouragement to other saving groups across the country to join future editions of Connecting Women in Business," she said.
The top three winners in each category underwent a Master Class in the areas of Taxes, general Legal matters, Digital Marketing, Saving schemes, and Conflict Resolution, which will aid in growing their businesses with the aim of creating wealth.
Mapula Bodibe, MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer congratulated winners and encouraged to work hard to make a meaningful impact to the community.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners. Each saving group was selected from a critical category that represents much of our economy today: agriculture, arts, fintech and women with disability.
One of the areas of exposure provided to the saving groups is digital marketing, because we believe social networks, for example, can propel these saving groups’ projects further, resonating with year’s Women’s Day theme DigitAll: Innovation and technology for gender equality, which highlights the importance of leveraging digital tools to empower women and girls in all aspects of life. We encourage these women saving groups to not only keep using these tools but pass them down to others in their communities.”
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Prof Bayisenge Jeannette who graced the event, commended MTN Rwanda for its contribution to the development of women and girls.
About MTN Rwandacell
MTN Rwandacell Plc (MTN Rwanda) is the market leader in mobile telecommunications in Rwanda. Since 1998, it has continuously invested in expanding and modernising its network. MTN Rwanda offers various services to subscribers, including innovative propositions such as personalised voice and data offers with MTN Irekure. The company is also the front runner in mobile financial services in Rwanda with Mobile Money, MoMoPay and MoKash Loans and Savings.
About MTN Foundation
MTN Foundation is the vehicle through which MTN implements its Corporate Social Responsibility Programs. MTN Foundation was established in February 2010 and MTN has committed 1% of Profit After Tax (PAT) annually to support the Foundation activities.
The Foundation’s focus areas include Education, Youth and Women Empowerment and Environment initiatives. It was created with a focus of giving back to society and “Impacting the quality of lives in our communities in a meaningful way.