The government of Rwanda says that it is aware of the big problem of a lack of financial know how among small and medium entrepreneurs. The challenge has led to many of the entrepreneurs loosing on opportunities to access financial assistance when such chances arise. Trade and industry Minister Francois Kanimba says that there is a major plan in the pipeline to help address this issue.
" There is an operation to be implemented this year supported by the Access to finance Rwanda project-this is a project supported by DFID to implement a financial literacy program. I’m sure this program will contribute a great deal to inform the people even to educate them about the opportunity they have when they start working with financial institutions, so the program is underway."
Another problem that Kanimba says is being worked on is the challenge of the low levels of banked population of the SMEs. According to a FINSCOPE survey done in 2008, only 14 percent or 518,423 people of the adult population were banked.
" But my belief that this number has dramatically changed the last 3 years, we don’t have yet an updated survey but I’m sure this indicator is growing fast taking into account a number of considerations, for example, since the time Bank Populaire has been transformed into a fully fledged commercial bank, we have seen the number of bank accounts increasing by more that 30% but also the coming in of a number of micro-finance banks like Urwego Opportunity bank and the fast growth of some big micro-finance banks who are outreaching people in rural areas, someone should be expecting now the number of banked people to have moved far higher that 25% by the time being."
FinScope, a FinMark Trust initiative, is a nationally representative study of consumers' perceptions on financial services and issues, which creates insight