We have had a team of Business Support Associates working to support enterprises across Kigali, Rwanda since June. Here are the exciting businesses that we hope to take from investment readiness to investment worthiness.
GroceWheels is the only fully online grocery delivery service in Kigali. Offering delivery within five hours to anywhere in the city, the enterprise supplies fast and fresh local food to the hospitality industry and to individual Rwandan customers. Its success to date is thanks to placing a high emphasis on both the quality of their products and maintaining great customer relationships through excellent service.
Working with a really recognisable brand is pretty cool in itself but, as an ever increasing number of Rwandans gain internet access, it’s the potential for growth in this enterprise that makes GroceWheels such an exciting opportunity for our Business Support Associates.
Associates: Lawrence and Fidele
Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga
Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga means: “To Create, To See, To Learn” in Kinyarwanda and is Rwanda’s preeminent public-arts social enterprise and custom art services provider. Kurema is working to put more colour into the lives of people across Rwanda through unique community art-actions and custom creative commissions that drive social change and community development.
Kurema works with both community-based projects and commercial services, funded by a combination of grant funding, sponsorships, fee-for-service commissions, and sales. At its core, the enterprise’s work aims to change the idea of what art is, where art can be, who art is for, and who can be an artist.
Associates: Alice and Maurice
The Women’s Bakery
A typical 40-year-old woman in Rwanda has five children, no education and little access to employment or education opportunities. The Women’s Bakery exists to empower these women at a local level by providing them with training and employment within its chain of bakeries across Kigali.
The bakery is operated by women at every level and all bakers gain a sustainable income to support their families as they grow and thrive. Crucially, the bakery also sells its nutritious and affordable products to Rwandan mothers, addressing malnutrition amongst poor urban communities one healthy bake sale at a time.
Associates: Hannah and Clarisse
Wood Habitat is an interior design manufacturing company that creates and sells many different types of products from simple chairs to modern kitchens – all using sustainable timber. The enterprise focuses on teaching new skills to its workforce, including reading and writing, and particularly strives to empower their female employees, all five of whom are in senior positions in the organisation. Wood Habitat is customer focused with a passion to succeed in making an impressive impact in the niche Rwandan interior design market.
Associates: Liza and Joanna
Water Access Rwanda
Eighty percent of Rwanda’s population live in rural areas and a complicated system of tariffs and district fees typically determine rural households’ access to safe water sources. The rural demand for water is only set to increase as Rwanda’s population continues to grow. Water Access Rwanda aims to eradicate water scarcity by providing durable and simple water solutions that can cost four times less than traditionally drilling services.
Passionate 23-year-old mechanical engineering graduate Christelle founded the business in 2015. As if addressing Rwanda’s water access issues wasn’t enough, Christelle’s business also focuses on recruiting young Rwandan graduates, in turn helping to reduce Rwanda’s very high youth unemployment rate.
Associates: Zoe and Bonaventure
Ingabo Plant Health
Ingabo Plant Health produces a revolutionary agro-fertilizer that promises to double rural Rwandan crop yields in just 1 year. Ingabo both sells the product and provides much-needed advice and training to communities where educational attainment is low. The product, a more concentrated yet less harmful version of typical fertilisers used in Rwanda, is accompanied by a detailed manual for treating both common and rare plant diseases that typically limit crop yields simply because farmers do not recognise the signs. As a result, Ingabo Plant Health has the potential to reduce poverty amongst more than one million local farmers and their families.
Associates: Eleanor and Steven
Humura Enterprises produces 100% natural peanut butter. The peanuts are roasted, then shelled by hand. It’s long and tiresome work, but the results are amazing! Unlike local competitors, Humura’s product has no bulking agents, no additives, and no preservatives; just peanuts and a dash of salt. It’s all made here in Kigali by 75-year-old Adela and her family team. In the long term, Adela hopes to expand sales of her produce regionally and grow the Humura training programme to upskill even more young Rwandans in her craft.
Associates: Michael and Gloria
More than 40% of Rwanda’s population is under 14 years old, and yet Rwanda boasts the highest rate of school attendance in Africa with 97% completing at least primary school. The country has four official languages: Kinyarwanda, Swahili, English and, increasingly unpopular, French.
Iga writes, designs, and publishes high quality yet affordable learning materials with the aim of improving Rwandan children’s knowledge of Kinyarwanda. Iga Publishers is working with associates to perfect their business proposition so that even more of Rwanda’s five million children can benefit from Iga’s learning resources.
Associates: Olive and Ben
La Maison Deli
Rwanda is ranked first in Africa for internet affordability and access has grown exponentially in recent years. La Maison Deli – the youngest enterprise Challenges is working with on this placement – is Kigali’s only lunch kitchen and online delivery service and has created a niche market by tapping into Rwanda’s internet boom.
The kitchen produces nutritious and pre-packed Euro-African fusion meals every morning and delivers these across town, mostly to workers who otherwise would not take a lunch break. The business has huge growth potential as it transitions from start-up to scale-up in the next few months.
Associates: Max and Come
It’s long been claimed that Rwandan wheat cannot create bake-worthy flour. Gitare Mills produce a 100% natural, chemical-free and Rwandan-made flour, disproving this old colonial myth once and for all.
Yet it is arguably Kigali’s best-kept secret: Gitare supplies the flour to cafes and bakeries up and down the city but without the consumer acknowledgement of their great product. In a bid to further showcase just how fantastic Made-in-Rwanda flour actually is, Gitare Mills has already begun its new venture ‘Gitare Bakeries’. The business is only set for greater heights as more customers become aware of the benefits of keeping it local.
Associates: Pascaline and Joel
Enedom produces cookstoves that are almost 100% efficient. Unlike a basic cookstove that runs off charcoal, Enedom’s stoves burn firewood, coffee husks, dried grass, waste maize or any other dried biomass. Not only are these more easily available to poorer communities than charcoal, when burnt they generate 90% less particulate matter than an open fire.
Furthermore, burning biomass dramatically reduces the need for deforestation. As Rwanda has a particularly high population density, woodland is increasingly in short supply so widespread use of Enedom’s stoves will also rapidly reduce the demand on Rwanda’s precious woodlands.
Associates: Innocent and Thomas