Rwanda—Nguriza Nshore

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2018-2023

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Rwanda

Solutions: Economic Growth

By all accounts, Rwanda’s economic outlook is strong and positive. An increasingly attractive investment climate makes Rwanda a favorable environment for business startups, entrepreneurship, technology-driven businesses, and the private sector—and has the ability to deliver on the government’s promises of prosperity and opportunity for all its citizens. Despite this environment, structural challenges continue to constrain small and medium-sized enterprise growth and potential, particularly in critical areas such as access to finance, business growth and profitability, and job creation.

The Nguriza Nshore (“Lend so that I may invest”) Activity crowded-in finance (debt and equity) for the small firms that are not yet realizing the benefits of Rwanda’s strong economic performance, thereby driving economic growth and fueling non-farm rural employment for the next generation. By working with financial institutions, investors, public, and private sector business development service providers, and a variety of government ministries and initiatives, the DAI team—including partners BiD Network and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)—acted as a catalyst to strengthen and improve existing public-private platforms that support investment from international, local, bank, and non-bank sources, creating a better-functioning finance and investment ecosystem. Nguriza Nshore applied a gender, youth, and disabilities lens to expanding finance and investment—and worked to remove constraints that hamper those populations’ access to finance and lessen their ability to contribute to job growth.

The project raised $64 million in financing for small and medium agribusiness firms; $33 million in leveraged investment; and created 41,000 new jobs.


Sample Activities

  • Build partnerships into all project activities and across both public and private sectors, using our banking and investment analysis and Competitiveness Impacts of Business Environment Reforms (CIBER) regulatory analysis tool and reform process to foster initial relationships.
  • Improve the risk/return equation for financial institutions and investors with smart incentives and de-risking instruments that move with the market.
  • Mentor local private and public organizations within the broader investment and finance ecosystem to effect systemic change, share new approaches and global best practices, and build enduring relationships.
  • Improve the capacity of small and medium enterprises to access finance, improving their understanding of both financial products and services and how best to utilize finance to maximize profitability and create jobs over the long term.

Select Results

  • Established partnerships with 33 financial institutions and 117 small- to medium-sized enterprises.
  • Facilitated more than $1.2 million in agriculture-related financing.
  • Facilitated the creation of 1,927 jobs.
  • Leveraged more than $1.6 million in private and U.S. Government investment.
  • Assisted the Government of Rwanda in developing an Entrepreneurship Development Policy.
  • Developed an agribusiness strategy including processes, financial products, and de-risking mechanisms for the Bank of Kigali. The strategy followed the bank’s launch of an SME center, which helps the bank to get closer to small business customers with the aim of understanding their needs and to offer tailor-made financial and non-financial services.


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