July 8, 2014

INES University Rwanda Holds Business Plan Competition 2014

DSC_9631“What struck me most, was the number of ladies who participated were more than men and very enthusiastic. They impressed the judges on their entrepreneurial DNA, business concept and bigger impact” said Beatrice Murekatete who spoke on behalf of SPARK. She urged the candidates to start small and make their businesses grow gradually and that being an entrepreneur is not an easy journey and promised that SPARK is available to support to each and everyone who dares to get started!

INES University in Rwanda once again highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship by holding a business plan competition. The process started in May 2014 with business idea generation for over 120 students, alumni and young people from surrounding communities.  The best 50 business ideas were selected and taken through an intensive training in business skills complemented with a series of coaching and mentoring. The business plan competition is a sub-component of the INES University’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) development programme, a SPARK funded initiative under the Entrepreneurship Development programme (MFSII). The primary objective of the project is to increase productivity and employment mainly among the institution’s students and alumni. From July 2014 onwards, the best 20 candidates will be incubated for one to two years at INES-Business incubation in addition to the individual gifts they received. The winners will also receive aftercare services and follow-up to a fully supported business income, growth in assets, employment creation, loan application and repayment.  Aftercare services will involve providing linkage with financial institutions.

‘‘I have gained invaluable knowledge and skills within a very conducive environment that facilitated me with my business partner to learn and exercise our skills but above all understood that wealth is not just created in a single day but rather have a humble beginning with the little resources around us’’ said Jean Nepomuscene Ntirandekura one of the contenders who wants to start a business of growing vegetable in a green house.

The guest of Honor, Right Reverend Bishop Harorimana Vincent of Ruhengeri Diocese was grateful for SPARK’s support to the institution and mentioned that Ruhengeri community needs more organizations like SPARK to support young people as they are the future of the country and back-bone of the development of their respective communities.  While the Rector encouraged the candidates to put into action the business skills acquired, if combined with everyone’s academic background will be very useful in addressing the challenge young people face today and be the catalyst of change in their homes and communities.

The Governor of the Northern Province Mr. Bosenibamwe Aimé in his speech appreciated all initiatives coming from INES-Ruhengeri and specifically SPARK supported projects and appealed to take the programme to the entire Northern Province of Rwanda and promised to support the institution.