Young entrepreneurs have been encouraged by AERG to work hard to achieve their dreams

Reluctance by banks to fund young entrepreneurs is affecting efforts geared at reducing youth unemployment, Jean Paul Nyiribakwe, the Youth Entrepreneurship Training Programme (YETP) co-ordinator, has said.

Nyiribakwe said this affects young entrepreneur’s capacity to grow.

“Though we invited over six banks, only Cogebanque has turned up. Clearly, this is the first sign that some banks are not ready to invest in youth-run businesses,” said Nyiribakwe while addressing hundreds of youth who completed a six-month entrepreneurship training course in Kigali on Friday. He, however, urged the youth to be resilient to thrive in today’s competitive business environment.

“There are many challenges out there, but do not be discouraged; persevere as you pursue your dreams,” he added.

Meanwhile, five of the participants who pitched the best business ideas scooped cash prizes and certificates. Janviere Tuyisenge emerged top and received a Rwf400,000 cash prize, while Eugene Mukeshimana, the first runner-up, walked away with Rwf250,000 and Honorate Abijuru was third and got Rwf150,000. Mary Mukamabano and Theodore Icyingabire were fourth and fifth, respectively, and pocketed Rwf100,000 each.

Those who ranked sixth to tenth won mobile phones, and received certificates.

Jean de Dieu Mirindi, the national co-ordinator of the Association of Genocide Survivors (AERG), advised the youth to work hard and persevere to achieve their goals. He encouraged the young entrepreneurs to implement the business ideas they pitched.

Thoedore Icyingabire, a trainee, said he would use the skills gained to kick-start his hides and skins project.

The YETP project is spearheaded by AERG and Survivors Fund (SURF), a non-profit organisation. Over 800 youth have been trained under the programme.



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