Rwanda: ten Rwandan start-ups to benefit from debt financing support


Ten eligible Rwandan start-ups will benefit from a debt financing facility of up to € 50,000 and will benefit from expert supervision as part of a business accelerator program called “Sustainable Technology for Africa Rwanda 2021 ”.

The program is organized by Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs (OVO), an investment and entrepreneurship group based in Belgium.

On Tuesday, June 2, ten of the most remarkable and sustainable start-ups will be announced and are expected to benefit from the program dubbed Sustech4Rwanda, which aims to help start-ups remain resilient through debt financing and management support.

“We will announce the new cohort of 10 transformational start-ups. The Director General and I, Bjorn Macauter, will be in Kigali to launch the program, ”said Andrew Herweg, Program Manager for Rwanda.

OVO provides debt financing in the range of € 5,000 to € 50,000, which they describe as a unique approach to other investor groups and angel investor networks who typically provide a straightforward deal for future actions. (SAFE), convertible notes or equity investments.

“The approach is to use debt financing as a ‘learning tool’ for entrepreneurs to get into the habit of managing their money and spending appropriately. Too often entrepreneurs think of the popular form of capital as ‘free money’, but in reality the financing is cheaper and easier to manage, ”he explained.

In addition to funding, OVO says it has a network of over 120 coaches, all successful or current entrepreneurs, advisors and investors based in Rwanda or Belgium, who are available to provide advice and support. free to companies in the annual cohort to ensure medium and long-term success.

Debt financing

Through the SusTech4Africa program, the Belgium-based group provides debt financing and expert capital to pre-seed start-ups.

Last year, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, OVO managed to invest € 168,500 in eight companies in Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda. In 2021, he has already invested in a Rwandan health technology start-up and plans to invest up to € 300,000 by the end of the year.

About the accelerator

Applications for start-ups were open from March to May.

Dozens of start-ups have applied for the SusTech4Rwanda program, announced in collaboration with BAG Innovation, the African Leadership University (ALU), the Challenges Group Rwanda and the Shared Value Africa Initiative.

Candidate startups were required to share their profiles, product or service line, revenue, business model, basic financials, team details, proof of traction and business registration, and a one-minute video explaining why they should be part of the program.

Participating start-ups are optimistic ahead of the Kigali event, which will see, among other things, the winners line up for possible funding and investment.

UmuravaWork, an independent pan-African one-stop-shop and EdTech start-up, says it is excited to join OVO’s SusTech4Rwanda program due to the benefits that will flow from the accelerator.

“We will recruit business experts and coaches who will help us place our business at a level that will lead to efficient operations for all the solutions we have for the African continent starting from Rwanda”,

“Second, we are looking for investments to grow, develop and evolve and we plan to benefit from OVO impact investors. Significantly, this will be an opportunity to expand our network and we see it as another source for our company’s customers. “the start-up told The New Times.

The selected start-ups will be the subject of a “Business boot camp” and, later, of a “demonstration and investment day”, during which they will be put in touch with investors and donors. potential fundraising event, which will take place in September.

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