The Rwanda Imbaraga SME Ecosystem (RISE) programme has been launched to foster stronger connections between financial institutions and SMEs in both Rwanda and Singapore.
RISE aims to equip SMEs in Rwanda with better capabilities to participate in domestic and cross-border trade opportunities, as well as enhanced access to trade financing.
The programme’s three components include; providing SMEs with access to financial literacy courses and digital services; extending the data sets and credentials that MSMEs can use to secure funding; and creating new and expanded trade opportunities within Rwanda, as well as between Rwanda and international markets through B2B marketplaces.
The MoU for this programme was signed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) in partnership with the Business Development Fund of Rwanda (BDF) and Proxtera, a digital platform that aims to facilitate cross border trade connectivity among emerging market SMEs.
MAS and NBR will provide strategic direction and support for the RISE programme, including providing policy guidance on cross-border financial engagements and digital financial credentials building.
Meanwhile, BDF and Proxtera will play key roles in operationalising the RISE programme and infrastructure, in collaboration with Rwandan financial institutions, government entities and trusted data partners.
John Rwangombwa, Governor, BNR said,
“The RISE project will solve data unavailability through collecting alternative data to create trusted credentials that financial institutions can rely on to lend to SMEs.
This will eventually bridge the gap of SME financing and expose Rwandan SMEs to international markets, through the digital marketplace.”
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, MAS, said,
“With RISE, we are confident of driving enhanced financial services, developing stronger trusted credentials and creating greater business opportunities for the Rwanda SMEs and the Rwanda financial ecosystem.
RISE is a major milestone that builds on our strong Singapore-Rwanda ties and we look forward to this public-private sector collaboration.”