Besides interest-free loans, winners of the competition receive training from BK in partnership with Inkomoko, a business consulting firm that works with micro, small, and medium enterprises in Rwanda to develop powerful strategies to increase their profits.
Mukagahima Marie Ange, the CEO and Founder of Zima enterprise, a pumpkin processing company which also deals in pastries, flour, roasted seeds, and seed oil told IGIHE that Urumuri initiative made her business prosper due to the training and loans she received.
“We process pumpkins and make oil and biscuits from them since 2017. Before we won Urumuri competition, we did not have enough resources to process pumpkins and make pastries but after, we were able to purchase adequate equipment and our productivity has doubled ever since. Our vision is to establish our footprint across the country and hopefully start exporting our products as well.”
Uwizeye Josue, the CEO of Josh Innovation, a company which deals in zero-carbon cookers said that the loan he acquired from BK Urumuri allowed him to expand his business, innovate and create new products.
“We have recently started making drones but we focus more on research. In the future, we expect to launch a drone assembling plant and I believe, we will be a pioneer drone industry in Rwanda.”
He expressed concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak because he had ordered some equipment from China but the trade blockade caused by the virus didn’t make it possible for the order to be delivered. “I hope the situation gets better and that a cure for the Coronavirus will be found.”
Uwizeye currently employs 12 staff and his business continues to operate despite the outbreak of the virus.
BK Urumuri initiative was launched in 2017 as the Bank celebrated its 50 years’ anniversary.
During the launch of the BK Urumuri Initiative on March 7th, 2017, Dr. Diane Karusisi, BK Chief Executive Officer said that the objective is to support young entrepreneurs in realizing projects that might contribute to the development of the country.
“We initiated Urumuri looking forward to 50 years to come when technology will be leading especially in trade. We aim at assisting young entrepreneurs to adjust with an evolving business sphere.”
In 2017, BK offered loans worth Rwf 60 million to 8 young entrepreneurs. Among the winning projects were Safe Motos which won Rwf 11.7 million, DSIS&T which designs sprinkler irrigation systems and technology and received Rwf 4 million, Kalisimbi Wines received Rwf 9 million, WiredIn Ltd, Rwf 8 million, Pure Pro, Rwf 9.3 million, Mudacumura Publishing, Rwf 8 million, Yummy&Fresh, Rwf 3.5 million and Murukari Online, Rwf 6 million.
In 2018, the loans were offered to Sonia Mugabo Showroom, Sanit Wing, Imagine We Publishers, House of Tayo, Josh Innovation and Zima Enterprise among others.
In 2019, winners were Amazon Nutrition Cabinet, Avo Health Business Entreprise, GreenLeaves Business Enterprise, Ishyo Foods Business Enterprise, Nziza and Kipepeo Kids.