Effectively counseling and developing small scale enterprises in Rwanda


From 24 until 28 January 2022, part 2 of the Small Business Counselling Training of the SEAD West project in Rwanda took place. The 18 participants coming from the SEAD West beneficiary institutes IPRC Karongi, TVET Institute Bumba, TSS/EAV Kivumu and TVET Institute GS Gisovu as well as Business officers from the Karongi, Rutsiro and Ngororero districts were equipped with knowledge how to effectively counsel and develop a small-scale enterprise (SME) in Rwanda.

This second training was the follow up of the training that took place virtually in December 2021. During this first training the participants took part in a 2-day virtual knowledge session on business counseling methods, followed by counselling SMEs in the three districts. This second training consisted of a five-day training program where MSM consultant Vin Morar was present to review the field assignment that was carried out in December and to further develop the business counseling competences of the participants.

During the January training the participants business counseling competences were further developed by diving further into the business counseling role. Together with the participants, Vin Morar visited several SMEs to identify challenges that the SME is facing and advising on how to handle these kinds of challenges. One of the challenges that came out of these talks with the SMEs was that they often don’t have the ability to organize and manage business efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, the participants competences were strengthened by developing the seven core competences that a business counselor needs to master. This are competences such as knowing how to effectively establish a working relationship, analyzing business experiences and problems and action planning for development.

Setting up a counseling association
SMEs are the backbone from private sector development and from the discussions during the training week, it became clear that Rwandan SMEs would benefit greatly from effective and efficient business counseling. To create widespread impact, it was agreed that setting up an association of business counselors would be the best way forward. Meetings were held with knowledgeable institutes and persons in Rwanda to discuss the way forward to set up such an association to strengthen SMEs in the future and therefore indirectly support job creating and local economic and sustainable growth.

To build upon the newly gained knowledge from the business counseling training, a few training participants have been appointed to form a taskforce to realize the idea of setting up a business counseling association in Rwanda.

About SEAD West
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in partnership with the international consortium led by Maastricht School of Management (MSM) is implementing the SEAD West project: Strengthening Education for Agricultural Development. Through the project, the education & training institutions (IPRC Karongi, TVET Gisovu, TVET Kivumu, and TVET Bumba) are capacitated to better address the needs of the stakeholders in the agriculture sector with a focus on the Agri-Tourism value Chain.

The SEAD West project has, broadly, three lines of intervention: 1) Curriculum Development/Revision, both formal and non-formal; 2) strengthen the Applied research & innovation capacities of the partner institutions and 3) strengthen the outreach services, more specifically the offer of tailor-made training, and establishment of Service, Training, and Innovation Center in Agri-Tourism focusing on the Horticulture value chain and hospitality.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre for Emerging Economies

This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre for Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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