July 16, 2014

SPARK Ignite: Partnering with KCB Rwanda to make loans accessible for SMEs

By Jado Kabengera

KCB Rwanda LogoSPARK is working in Rwanda since 2011 in the field of Private Sector Development, supporting start-up enterprises as well as small businesses to grow. Small businesses are an important force for employment creation and poverty reduction. Work in them accounts for an important share of employment in developing countries. Yet one of their greatest challenges is accessing start-up capital.

SPARK works through partners who provide comprehensive support to entrepreneurs both in business development aspects; training, coaching, mentoring and follow-up support. SPARK partners run regular business plan competitions in order to stimulate, encourage and support entrepreneurs. The observation is that many viable start-up enterprises do not get bank loans because there is no or not enough collateral. As a result no investment is undertaken, and no jobs are created.

It’s in this context that on the 8th of July, SPARK signed a partnership agreement with KCB Rwanda in the head office of KCB. KCB is a local bank experienced in working with small and medium enterprises in order to make finance more accessible for small entrepreneurs. This collaboration, under SPARK partner projects will facilitate new businesses to start up and grow by offering risk-sharing, base interest rate, sufficient grace period and a proper follow up.

* Jado Kabengera is a Programme Officer for SPARK Rwanda

SPARK IGNITE is SPARK’s blog of stories, updates and opinions by SPARK staff, on relevant topics in the news, stories from the fields, and what inspire us to do what we do.  We welcome external contributions; to contribute please contact media[at]