Entrepreneur Solutions Partners (ESP), a global management consulting firm dedicated to nurturing a continental footprint devoted to identifying, enabling, and supporting entrepreneurs and private sector players, on Friday, May 27, held a graduation of its 4th cohort of entrepreneurs that was trained in Rwanda.
Partnering with the Mastercard Foundation’s Hanga Ahazaza, ESP’s work in Rwanda has achieved great milestones including providing technical and financial support to 144 SMEs, collectively employing more than 1,361 employees, as well as giving technical assistance and training to people interested in working in tourism and hospitality sector.
Through its Tourism Inc initiative, it has had 849 jobs created in different sectors including food and beverages, beauty and wellness, creative industry, floriculture industry, among others.
For its fourth cohort of trainees, 25 young entrepreneurs were selected to join the Tourism Inc. program; allowing them to receive the right mix of technical skills, financing, and mentorship to grow their businesses over a six-month period.
Speaking at the graduation event, Geoffrey Musinguzi the Program Partner at Mastercard Foundation said that they are investing in such ideas with an aim of facilitating business to create jobs for many other people, since their core goal is creating employment.
“ESP being part of the Hanga Ahazaza has demonstrated growth through the Tourism Inc, which gives an opportunity for these entrepreneurs to expand and grow, the results are good although we still have a long way to go,” he added.
Charity Kabango Co-founder and Director at EPS, reflected on the importance of the support they are giving to entrepreneurs, in regards to the struggles they face especially in the early stages of their businesses.
“Statistics show that most businesses fail in their first two years, at ESP we design our programs with the intelligent capital, a combination of technical assistant and capital for their prototype grants,” she said.
She added that mind-set is crucial for an entrepreneur, in addition to coming together with fellow entrepreneurs and getting mentorship, since it assists businesses grow from start-ups to scale up.
The five best entrepreneurs that emerged out of this cohort shared their experiences and where they want to reach.
One of them, Gloria Girabawe the founder of Flove, an eco-friendly firm that makes reusable bags, mostly known as tote bags, said ESP’s training program, is an opportunity for her to learn how she can improve her business.
Sandra Umwali, the founder of Sandy’s Burgers and Shakes, another top beneficiary of the program said that the training was constructive on her side to fight with the challenges that the pandemic imposed on her business.
ESP’s approach is to provide Intelligent Capital — the right combination of insights and capital — to address critical societal issues.
They provide consulting and strategy advisory services to various clients, including governments, businesses, and development partners in Africa. With offices in Abidjan and Kigali, ESP has been in operation since 2011.