Rwanda: How University Students Have Leveraged the Capital Market University Challenge

University students who were awarded in the previous Capital Market University Challenge have managed to create jobs and continued to save through the capital market.

The annual competition aims at creating awareness among the youth about the capital market and instill in them the culture of saving and investment through the capital market at an early age.

Capital markets are venues where savings and investments are channeled between the suppliers who have capital and those who are in need of capital.

Redempta Sangiza is one of the students who took part in the Capital Market University Challenge while still at university in 2017 in University of Rwanda-Huye campus.

She said they registered as a group for the contest after reading an announcement calling for university students to participate in Capital Market Challenge.

"We registered. We were a group of six students that had formed a saving club at campus. We had formed this group as a way of paving the way for creating our own jobs after graduation.

When we heard about the contest, we realized it was an opportunity to boost our savings group. I was among the three students in the group who contested in the essay category and we emerged the first while three others participated in the quiz category and emerged the first," she said.

She said that the three students who contested in the essay category were awarded Rwf400,000 which they saved through buying stock shares in I&M Bank that is listed at the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).

The other three students that competed in the quiz category were awarded Rwf700,000 which they also saved through acquisition of shares in Bank of Kigali listed on Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).

Forming a business

After the six students received the awards in Capital Market University Challenge, the group that graduated in 2018, formed a company dubbed "Reliable Immense Company Ltd".

The company provides practical professional training on computer programmes and software for capacity building.

"We have really created jobs thanks to the Challenge. The company is growing and we have got new shareholders," she said.

She said that, in 2019, they sold their shares in Bank of Kigali so as to get capital to boost the company's operations.

"We remained with shares in I&M Bank and the shares are still in the bank expecting to get dividends. Capital market is one of the best sustainable channels of saving and investment that provides benefits in the long-term," she said.

She urged other students to form savings clubs and save through the capital market.

"This is important because by the time they graduate, they will have capital to create jobs. The initiative opens students' minds and thinking in entrepreneurship," she noted.

She said they want to raise more capital through the capital market to grow the company.

"The more the company grows, the more we join the capital market," she added.

Theogene Kubahoniyezu, who is part of the group and was among the three that contested in the quiz category, said that he also managed to start his own stationary company in Rusizi district apart from being a shareholder in "Reliable Immense Company Ltd.

"The Capital Market University Challenge has opened our mind. We work to boost Reliable Immense Company Ltd. I also managed to start my own stationary company worth over Rwf2 million thanks to dividends from capital market and that joint company," he said.

We get dividends from our shares on the capital market and buy shares again to accumulate our savings, he said.

He urged other youth to embrace saving culture and make use of Capital Market University Challenge and capital market in general.

"We were a saving club at university and Capital Market University Challenge boosted our club which later became a company after graduation," he said, adding that they are working to grow the company and also do consultancy in statistical research.

Magnifique Migisha, the Capital Market Authority's Public Relations Officer said that the Challenge is a way of promoting saving culture among the youth through the capital market.

"Young people should embrace the culture of saving and investment through the capital market because this prepares them as future investors and professionals of the capital market industry," he said.

He encouraged students to invest collectively through saving clubs saying that CMA helps in building capacity among students to establish saving clubs, on how best to run their clubs.

"CMA educates the students on how to save and invest through the local capital market. Saving and investing through capital at such a young age helps young people to create their own jobs," he noted.

Students willing to contest, in 8th Edition, have to register through with a deadline set on May 21.

Awards will be available to the winners of both the quiz category and essay category in the form of securities of one of the domestic companies listed at the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).

"Young people should save and invest through buying shares on the capital market. Such smart saving and investment will guarantee sustainability, which among other include exploring opportunities offered by the capital market products i.e. shares, bonds or any other product to be offered at the stock market," he added.

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