Business Partners International Rwanda: An early stage success story

Business Partners International Rwanda SME Fund began investing in Rwanda’s SME sector in January 2012 with a target of investing USD 8 million in 56 investments within sixty months.

In the first 20 months, Business Partners International (BPI) has processed 215 business proposals and has approved more than USD 4 million in 21 new investments – facilitating in excess of 580 jobs in the process.

“This is a reflection of BPI’s growing prominence in the Rwandan SME sector. BPI has succeeded in positioning itself as a value-adding financier to SMEs in the country,” says Business Partners International Chief Operating Officer Mark Paper.

This is as a result of marketing activities and effective client engagement that highlights our key strengths as a fund that will take calculated financial risks where business are viable and backed by a strong entrepreneur.

BPI has successfully partnered with business chambers through monthly workshops targeting different business associations. By doing this, BPI has developed relationships not only a financier but an advisor that provides services beyond finance and who engages potential investment applicants to understand their needs well in advance.

Business Partners International Rwanda SME Fund’s success has in its wake resulted in investee companies breaking beyond the limits of current capacity. “With 53% of funds disbursed being allocated to the acquisition of equipment and raw materials, we have ensured that SMEs seeking to grow revenues, market share and their overall competitiveness have a partner in Business Partners,” adds Paper.

With the 70% of the investee companies being in agro-processing and light manufacturing, this has resulted in a direct link between invested funds and growth in jobs created.

According to the Trading Economics statistics Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economies in Central Africa. From 2000 until 2012, the Rwanda GDP growth rate averaged 8.2% reaching an all-time high of 13.4% in June of 2008.

“We would like to be part of this growth and believe the success of BPI in Rwanda so far is just the beginning,” Paper concludes.