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HomeSportRwanda: There Is Light At the End of Rwanda's Startup Tunnel

Rwanda: There Is Light At the End of Rwanda’s Startup Tunnel

SIX RWANDAN FIRMS have been selected among 60 African start-ups to receive $100,000 (about Rwf100 million) each in the second cohort of a Google funding initiative.

The equity-free funding is part of a $4 million-project, dubbed the Black Founders Fund Africa, which seeks to support early stage black-founded startups in Africa in an effort to help bridge the startup funding divide, especially in the technology world.

The latest development means Rwanda’s BAG Innovation,Bailport, Exuus, Kapsule, Pesa Choice, and Pindo follow in the footsteps of AC Group and Bangalo in accessing much-needed, strings-free funding.

Besides the cash grants, each of the winners will have access to up to $200,000 in Google cloud credits,

further boosting beneficiaries’ growth ambitions.

The Black Founders Fund Africa is a major shot in the arm for Africa’s startup ecosystem, which has struggled to attract funding, resulting in most startups dying even before their first birthday.

Rwanda is no exception with so many startups failing to kick off despite showing great promise and potential early on.

It is okay for one to start something and it fails, it leaves you with valuable experience that will come in handy at your second or third or even tenth time of asking. That a business or startup has failed does not mean you’re a failure, it just means you probably need to draw lessons, change something and come back stronger more mature, more thoughtful and better informed.

Startups all over the world struggle for different reasons. Yet, there is no denying that startups hold enormous potential and we cannot afford to give up on them – because that means giving up on innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and a knowledge driven economy.

And, there is good reason to believe in the future of startups.

Silicon Valley startups have emerged to be some of the most successful, fastest growing companies in the world, raking in billions upon billions of dollars each year, and impacting the world in ways never seen before.

Yes, there will be challenges. A lot of them. Young, inexperienced entrepreneurs will set up firms built around a limited base of knowledge on how the market works, even without understanding basic procurement rules and red tape in the public sector or how you win contracts and trust of private organisations.

Some even lack basic knowledge of financial statements and can’t keep track of their expenses let alone exercising financial prudence, and yet somehow expect to find a lender, or an angel investor to trust them with their money.