Close this search box.

Dive In

Latest Articles

Business people in a video call meeting
Entrepreneurship & Tips
Notebook with Let's talk Sex and condoms on pink background
African American woman looking at a map travel and explore concept
Lifestyle & Travel

40,000 more jobs for the youth!

With visible impact and result from the Hanga Ahazaza initiative, the Mastercard Foundation is raising the bar by recomitting through Grow 2 Scale, a five year program that will provide dignified and fulfilling jobs to 40,600 young people in Rwanda.

Tourism is one of the biggest employers for women and the youth in Rwanda. With that mindset, in 2018 the Mastercard Foundation initiated a $50 million five-year initiative ,Hanga Ahazaza, set to create more opportunities for the youth while expanding the tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda.

The initial target of Hanga Ahazaza was to equip 30,000 youth with the skills they need to transition into jobs in tourism and hospitality. The actual impact amounted to 61,662 youth reached through the initiative, 39% being young women. 35,196, 46.8% being women were engaged in enabled training opportunities.

These young people received training in communications, customer service, ICT, and digital literacy skills.

From those efforts, 12,018 work opportunities were created for young people among which 40% were women. 20 curriculums were created or updated. 596 new tourism products were developed, and 298 MSMEs accessed financial services.

The initiative brought together 14 partners from the education, development, financial services, and private sector.​

Patrika Afrika, the Deputy CEO at Afrolago, one of the program participant through on of the implementing partners, Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners, said that the initiative helped scale his business.

He said, “We learnt a lot on how to scale our business through ESPartners, we learnt how manage our revenues and grow. We also looked at another way of conducting our business so that we can make an impact into our society.We were also able to get networks and get exposed as well.”

Marie Florence Uwimana, Founder and Manager of Tea House Boutique Hotel, who also graduated from African Management Institute and now employs 14 people says she sees her business grow even more.

“We plan to increase our rooms, triple the number of employees and also have another Tea House Boutique Hotel in East Africa.”

The Hanga Ahazaza initiative has surpassed its initial goals, empowering many young people. Yet, as Andrew Gatera, Founder and MD at G-Step Group, highlighted, access to finance and market knowledge remain significant challenges for young entrepreneurs.

Grow 2 Scale is another five-year program implemented by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR), Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP), and Business Professionals Network (BPN) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. 10,150 youth will be supported through AFR, 15,450 through ESP and 19,000 through BPN.

Grow 2 Scale builds on the impact of the Hanga Ahazaza initiative. The Acting Country Director of the Mastercard Foundation, David Rurangirwa, says the the program’s overall objective is to enable an entrepreneurial inclusive, and sustainable ecosystem for young people.

He said, “Through Grow 2 Scale, MSMEs in tourism and agriculture in Rwanda will receive business development services enabling them to create dignified and fulfilling work opportunities, and therefore improve the livelihoods of young women and men in these sectors.”

The program will support MSMEs and entrepreneurs in Sports tourism, Arts and creatives, Faith-Based Tourism and Adventure tourism.

“There is a need to create equal chances for young women and men to gain access to Markets.” – David Rurangirwa, Acting Country Head of the Mastercard Foundation in Rwanda
Lead Tourism and Hospitality Management, Dr. Carmen Nibigira says the aim is to have 70% of young women in the tourism and hospitality industry
The governement of Rwanda believes there is major opportunities in Sports Tourism
ESP, BPN, and AFR is partnering with the Mastercard Foundation in this initiative as implementing partners
Many entrepreneurs face a lack of access to finance, markets and talents which is what this new initiative is going to tackle

Straight out of Twitter