The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched the Hanga Umurimo Program (HUP) an initiative aimed at generating jobs that are not farm based. Today the ministry closed the pilot phase at the same time launching the initiative officially.
The main objective of HUP is to support a young generation with entrepreneurial mindset that run competitive and innovative enterprises to unlock their potential, starting small and grow big. A pilot phase of HUP targeted technical support to 300 new entrepreneurs with bankable projects.
Speaking to the participants, Minister of Trade and Industry Kanimba Francois said
"It has been a long and challenging way from the launch of the HUP pilot project one year ago until today. We learnt a lot with this pilot project. These lessons will definitely guide us in the effective implementation of forthcoming HUP "Start Small, Grow Big". There have been challenges, but these did not and will not discourage us, they however pushed us to think about other new avenues of designing and implementing HUP effectively".
"Moreover, testimonies heard from entrepreneurs attest of the promising future of this program. We really believe that HUP will participate achieving the Vision 2020 objective of producing 3.2 million off-farm jobs, hence turning our country into a middle-income economy" he added
During the HUP pilote phase a selection of 1,500 high potential business ideas were selected countrywide, 50 from each district. To improve access to finance, the Business Development Fund has allocated a guarantee fund for HUP to provide 75% guarantee for entrepreneurs.
The closing ceremony of HUP pilot phase intends to share lessons learnt, achievements and challenges encountered in implementing the pilot phase countrywide.
Rwanda's Vision 2020 targets to create 3.2 million off-farm jobs by 2020. Guided by this Vision and the National SME policy, the Ministry of Trade and Industry introduced HUP to contribute to rapid growth of enterprises.