Women Entrepreneurship Challenge

Awa Prize
> Belgium

Enabel and Gender Monitoring Office celebrate Rwandan women entrepreneurs with the launch of a new project

  • Enabel and Gender Monitoring Office celebrate Rwandan women entrepreneurs with the launch of a new project
  • Enabel and Gender Monitoring Office celebrate Rwandan women entrepreneurs with the launch of a new project
  • Enabel and Gender Monitoring Office celebrate Rwandan women entrepreneurs with the launch of a new project
  • Enabel and Gender Monitoring Office celebrate Rwandan women entrepreneurs with the launch of a new project

Kigali, 14 October 2022 – More than 80 people gathered to discuss the socio-economic impact of women’s entrepreneurship in Rwanda. Initiated by Enabel, the Belgian development agency in partnership with Rwanda’s Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) and the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) , this event took place on the occasion of the launch of the Awa Prize, a new international contest for women entrepreneurs.

On this occasion, a large audience composed of entrepreneurs, private sector development experts, government bodies were invited to join the crucial conversation on women’s entrepreneurship as a tool for socio-economic development of urban and rural communities.

The evening was introduced by Jean-Michel Swalens, Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Belgium in Rwanda.
Concerned with the topic of gender equality on society at large, he said : “Belgian cooperation is committed to supporting Rwanda in creating an increasingly favorable environment for entrepreneurship with particular attention to women. The Awa Prize initiative will be of great help to succeed!”

To lead the discussion, four experts took part in a round table to share their expertise and viewpoints on this paramount question : Francine Munyaneza from Munyax Eco, Florien H. Rurihose, Deputy Chief of the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), Annette Mukayiranga from the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) and Sifa Florence Sangwa, agriculture student.

The conversation started around the topic of family life and its impact on the creation of a company for a woman. It appeared that while a family can be a great source of support, relatives’ concerns, as caring as they are, can also be a brake.

In the agricultural sector, and especially in rural areas, some challenges can be more difficult to tackle for women entrepreneurs. A better access to information, by communicating through the relevant medias will enable more women from rural areas to access the opportunities they may not be aware of.

The importance of building relevant programs for women was also stressed. According to several participants in the attendance, women’s needs and voice need to be taken into account in the very conception of such support initiatives. “Women are not statistics!” said Annette Mukayiranga, from NIRDA. “Women need to be treated the same way as men when it comes to entrepreneurship.”

Besides the potential solutions formulated throughout the discussions, one idea often appeared as an important basis for a better distribution of opportunities in entrepreneurship : the importance of fellowship, mutual support and strong networks of women entrepreneurs.

The round table was the first of a series of events around women entrepreneurship which will be organized by Enabel in the four upcoming years as part of the Awa Prize, a new international competition for women entrepreneurs in all partner countries of the Belgian development agency. This project aims at shedding the light on women who animate their communities with their business. Rwandan entrepreneurs are invited to apply on the website of the project until October  24.

Latest news from this project

No news