Our Skilling for Change project in Rwanda, run in partnership with CARE International, has just reached its 18-month mark. Latest figures show that this two-year project has provided training on financial literacy and investment readiness to over 14,000 women to date. It has also helped over 2,000 women to start new businesses, with over 1,500 new jobs being created for their fellow Rwandans.
Skilling for Change was launched in 2014 with the aim of empowering 15,000 Rwandan women to gain long-term financial independence through a combination of mentoring, training and improved access to financial services. It is a collaborative venture funded by Accenture as part of its ‘Skills to Succeed’ initiative, which aims to equip three million people with workplace and entrepreneurial skills by 2020.
We are reaching out to women engaged in CARE International’s ‘Village Savings and Loans Associations’ in rural Rwanda, helping to provide them with the skills and tools they need to turn their micro-enterprises into thriving businesses. We are also working closely with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) to develop products which will ease women’s access to savings and credit.
Women participating in the savings groups will be linked to KCB’s banking services through mobile banking agents. In the most remote areas which are not yet covered by KCB’s agent network, women entrepreneurs within the savings groups are being offered the opportunity to be trained as mobile banking agents by KCB staff. This will provide the women with a further opportunity to generate additional income, as they will earn commission on each mobile banking transaction they perform. The increased footfall of banking customers may also benefit their existing businesses.
To find out more about Skilling for Change please visit our project webpage, and click here to read a comment piece by our Founder, Cherie Blair, on why Rwanda’s banks must do more to support female entrepreneurs.