This 10-month programme will offer seed capital, valuable training and mentorship opportunities to eligible young entrepreneurs.
Speaking about this initiative, MTN Rwanda’s Chief Consumer and Digital Officer, Yaw Ankoma Agyapong said: “We set up Yolo as a platform to help the youth of Rwanda unleash their potential and drive them to achieve greatness. We are keen on investing in developing youth and want to make sure they are well-equipped to sustain their businesses, in line with MTN’s drive to contribute to the growth of SMEs thus promoting Rwanda’s growth.”
MTN’s partnership with Inkomoko aims to empower and provide youth-led businesses with the right practical knowledge and skills that will strengthen their innovative capabilities amidst an evolving digital world.
Through a competitive application process, 6 youth-led SMEs/start-ups will be selected to receive:
• A free 5-month accelerator from Inkomoko, including training, assessment, and consulting.
• 3 out of the 6 businesses will compete to be selected to receive monetary funding support from MTN.
• Webinars with industry experts to help boost their businesses
• Communication essentials and advertising platforms from MTN
Only participants whose business plans fulfil the criteria below of viability and sustainability will be selected for the programme.
• The applicant must be Rwandan.
• Must be a business owner aged 18-30.
• Must have digital presence or use e-commerce.
• Must have annual revenue of less than Rwf 200,000,000.
• The company must have proof of registration with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for at least 1 year.
• Priority will be given to youth-led businesses that are making a social/environmental impact.
Commenting on the partnership, Sara Leedom, Inkomoko’s Chief Operating Officer said: “’Levelling up’ means taking on the next challenge. We at Inkomoko see youth entrepreneurs in Rwanda take on the challenge of being more digital, using eCommerce, and embracing innovation. Inkomoko is excited for our partnership with MTN to help young entrepreneurs embrace the challenge and grow even further. Level Up Your Biz is an opportunity for digitally connected entrepreneurs to gain more management skills from Inkomoko and digital tools from MTN."
Level Up Your Biz is in line with MTN’s digital ambition as it focuses on capacity building for businesses that use digital platforms to innovate and provide local solutions that address a market need in Rwanda.
“Our mission is to lead digital for a brighter Rwanda where everyone is connected to the digital world. By supporting these young entrepreneurs, we see ourselves as partners on their digitization journey as they realise their entrepreneurial dreams,” concluded Agyapong.
About MTN Rwandacell
MTN Rwandacell Plc (MTN Rwanda) is the market leader in mobile telecommunications in Rwanda. Since 1998, we have continuously invested in expanding and modernising our network and are now the country’s No 1 internet 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 Inkomoko Entrepreneur Development
Inkomoko Entrepreneur Development offers full-service business consulting in Rwanda, with offices in Kigali and Musanze, as well as six refugee camps. Our work focuses specifically on developing the skills, systems, and networks for entrepreneurs in Rwanda to successfully develop, operate, and expand their enterprises for increased profit and job creation. To date, Inkomoko has worked with 14,000 entrepreneurs to help them create more than 5,500 jobs in Rwanda. Our portfolio of clients is diverse — agriculture, food processing, tourism & hospitality, retail, and export businesses, for example.