Entrepreneurship Support for Refugees in Rwanda

by African Entrepreneur Collective


In October 2016, Rwanda will pilot an innovation in refugee relief that, if successful, could have wide-spread impact. Instead of receiving donated food and supplies, nearly 40,000 camp refugees will receive cash stipends. These households will regain control over their finances and act as normal consumers. Where there are money and consumers, there are business opportunities. AEC will work with refugee entrepreneurs and provide them with capacity building and financing to launch enterprises.
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At present, there are roughly 125,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees living in six refugee camps. In late 2015, instead of giving refugees monthly food allotments, World Food Programme piloted transferring equivalent cash stipends in three of the camps. UNHCR is now following suit. In October 2016, nearly 40,000 refugees in three camps will receive 100% cash stipends. But, since there hasn't been any cash in the camps to date, there aren't any camp businesses to service refugee customers.


The objective of AEC's Entrepreneurship Support Program for Refugees in Rwanda is to leverage these cash transfer programs to benefit refugee entrepreneurs. This is an exciting opportunity for refugee entrepreneurs to launch businesses and meet this immediate demand for products and services. Through AEC's program, we will help refugee entrepreneurs create products, run franchise businesses, and employ other refugees. These refugees will have increased dignity and chances for self-sufficiency

Long-Term Impact

Through this project, we will train 400 refugee entrepreneurs in three camps. These entrepreneurs will receive 200 hours of relevant curriculum, and 1,500 hours of one-on-one strategic consulting. We expect that 100 of those trained will launch businesses and employ 200 people in the first year. The ultimate goal is that through this entrepreneurship support project, we will provide refugees the opportunity to move out of the camps and live self-sufficiently.



Organization Information

African Entrepreneur Collective

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​africanentrepreneurcollective.org
Project Leader:
Julienne Oyler
San Francisco, CA United States

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