MSME Finance in Rwanda - Status and Opportunities for Financial Institutions

How can financial institutions effectively support MSMEs?

Rwanda aspires to progress from a low income, agriculture-based economy to a middle income, knowledge-based service economy by 2020. In its economic development, as per the vision 2020 document, Rwanda sees an important role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which account for approximately 97 percent of businesses, contribute to 55 percent of the total GDP, and employ around 41 percent of the population.

This note features MSMEs’ access to finance in Rwanda and charts a potential roadmap for financial institutions as they expand to MSME markets. It focuses on evaluating three main areas, namely, current functioning of MSMEs, their role in the economy, and their financial needs.