Rwanda: Tech Accelerator Inkomoko, Bank of Kigali to Offer Interest-Free Loans to Startups


Rwandan Tech Accelerator, Inkomoko and the Bank of Kigali have partnered to launch an accelerator program to boost Startups in the small East African country.

Dubbed Urumuri initiative, the 7 month program will see selected startups offered a share of RWF 60million (roughly $73,000 , 260million UGX) in interest free loans.

The initiative which is part of the activities marking Bank of Kigali’s 50 years of service seeks to empower startups with ideas or operating businesses leveraging technology to solve Rwanda’s most pressing challenges.

50 startups will be selected to join the seven month business support programme run by Inkomoko. Applications for the program are already open and will run up to April 5th.

The Bank of Kigali will make a pool of RWF 60million (roughly $73,000 , 260million UGX) available in interest-free loans, to be granted as required among the top three to eight startups participating in the programme.

Bank of Kigali says it is ideal to mark the occasion by supporting the startups set to drive Rwanda’s economic growth over the next 50 years.

To be eligible startups must be Rwandan, must integrate technology into their solution, and must be able to demonstrate potential financial sustainability and profitability.

Speaking during the launch, Emmanuel Hategeka, the Chief Operating Officer for the Rwanda Development Board noted that “Supporting local entrepreneurs is one way of promoting Made in Rwanda products.”

“It shouldn’t be about self-enrichment but about other people; that’s being a true Urumuri,” he said.

On her part, Bank of Kigali’s Shivo Byamukama said that “Innovation is a major driver to development,” adding that Bank of Kigali introduced Urumuri project to serve the same.

Applicants must also not have revenues in excess of RWF 200million (roughly $242,000 , 866.9million UGX).