After receiving hundreds of applications for the 4th edition of BK Urumuri program in March 2019, 25 entrepreneurs were later selected in May with a chance of getting 0% interest loans from Bank of Kigali. Now 12 have been picked to pitch their business ideas after going through a series of trainings by Inkomoko Business Development.
The Urumuri Initiative is an annual entrepreneurial competition organized by Bank of Kigali as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility aimed at helping local, small and medium enterprises to access interest free loans and intensive business training.
The judges selected to assess the business proposals and pitches included CEO Bank of Kigali, Diane Karusisi, Founder of Chambre Rwandaise des femmes d’affaires (RCWE) Jeanne Mubiligi, Ndahiro Patrick in Charge of Credit at BK, Christian Bugabo from GROFIN, Head of Customer experience at BK Rose Ingabire, and Head of Business at BK, Muhizi Jean Pierre.
Before the pitch session, Head of Marketing at BK, Thierry Nshuti, explained that at the end of October, out of the 25 companies, the bank in collaboration with Inkomoko selected 12 that would pitch their business prospects.
“The selection followed criteria such as: viability of the business model, financial history, projected performance, profitability, business growth and job creation.”
The 12 companies selected have also gone through pitch trainings with a consultant from the UK.
Nshuti emphasized that when Bank of Kigali started this initiative it was part of uplifting businesses that kept the bank in business.
“However during the past three years, this program has grown to serve Rwandans whilst simultaneously uplifting local manufacturing. We are therefore excited to hear your pitches and be part of what you have in plan for the Rwandan community and economic growth.”
The selected companies that pitched included Ki-pepeo kids, Canarimwe Style Stove, Ishyo Foods, Cow Horns Rwanda, Nziza Igisura, Greenleaves, Ortho-promed, Isoratio, Ihuriro Zean, Amazon Nutrition Cabinet, Avo Health and SCACO Honey Dealers.
In this 4th edition, the first batch of the 25 selected “Made In Rwanda” entrepreneurs went through the six months Inkomoko Accelerator program which also involved a three-day boot camp in finance, sales and operations, with an assessment of their business and consulting services based on their needs.
Acting Managing Director at Inkomoko Olive Ashimwe explained that during the training they conducted they took note of the two most needed services, which are Financial Accounting set-up and Sales Strategy.
“Knowledge in these two services will help businesses track all their transactions to understand the finances of their companies and enable them access a loan from Bank of Kigali.
“The second most needed service was Sales Strategy. Many of the businesses are still new and therefore still in the process of entering the market. This service helps the business structure their sales effort, segment their customers, develop a sales pitch and a sales process as well as training sales people on how to increase sales,” explained Ashimwe.
The Head of Marketing at BK, noted that the next step is to announce the best five companies with the best business proposals on 22ndNovember.
“The five best companies will be awarded free interest loans of 5million each. This will follow the results derived from these pitches today.”
Inkomoko has offered business skills and consulting services to entrepreneurs for the past 6 years and has been successful with BK Urumuri winners including: ImagineWe, Moshions, House of Tayo, Mudacumura, Karisimbi wines, Yummy N Fresh, SafeMotos, and dozens more.