People with low incomes can hardly get a loan in Rwanda. Either they cannot offer any or only insufficient collateral, or the interest rates, which are often 20% and more, are not affordable. Thus, they cannot afford even small investments that would pay for themselves after a short time. Expanding operations and serving increased demand fails due to insurmountable hurdles. This also prevents the urgently needed creation of new jobs in the long term.
The microcredit project was launched in February 2008 in the Rubavu district in rural western Rwanda and is now managed by CCSME (Competence Center for Small and Medium Enterprises) based in Kabari-Kanzenze. CCSME is a long-standing local partner of Friends of Rwanda e.V., with whom various projects have been realized in a long cooperation. It was founded with the support of Friends of Rwanda and Lemonaid and started its work in Gisenyi in 2011.
The microcredits have so far gone to projects such as equipping a small store, a sewing workshop, adult education, a hairdressing salon or the breeding of goats and cows. They have thus enabled the creation of sustainable livelihoods in a rural region and served to combat high unemployment and poverty.
In the meantime, the project also receives support from Lemonaid & ChariTea e.V.