The city of Kigali has launched a new program aimed at supporting small-scale businesses in the capital. The Girubucurizi program is aimed at raising capital for individual and group businesses operating in the city capital as part of the need to enable citizens gain financial freedom.
Speaking at the launch, the vice mayor of Kigali Hope Tumukunde, noted the need for financial freedom for one to gain the EDPRSII goal of self-reliance: "For one to be able to have total freedom over their personal activities, they need financial independence."
Two hundred and twenty six people, mostly charcoal venders and vegetable sellers are expected to benefit from the project by the end of the year. Eight groups have been marked for the program. The program grants loans to its beneficiaries with a grace period of one year without pay back before they are expected to start repayments at a maximum rate of five percent.
Citizens have welcomed the project noting it is hard for them to gain the capital needed to expand their business ventures. "Banks tend to need collateral for one to acquire a loan that also carries very high interest rates for businesses like ours," states Francine Uweera, a vendor in Nyabugogo.
Individual business owners will be entitled to a maximum of Frw 500,000 while groups will have access to a maximum of Frw 2 million for borrowing.