Kigali, Rwanda – 15th September 2020 – Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation under its Hanga Ahazaza program has launched their third call for applications for businesses to join Tourism Inc, an incubator for start-ups in the Tourism and Hospitality sector.
Having its inaugural cohort graduate and join the alumni community, Tourism Inc is excited to grow this vibrant community of youth and women business leaders in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. Supporting these innovators is particularly important as the tourism sector has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Tourism Inc program has really supported me in turning my business ideas into actionable plans that can be easily implemented despite the current environment we are in. Working with a coach gives me the discipline to persevere and therefore perform better. Also, having a free co-working space is an added advantage, as I get an opportunity to not only focus on my company but also to collaborate with other entrepreneurs in the larger community of women in business,” said Divine Uwase, a participant in the program.
Access to business skills, financing, and mentors are key challenges that prevent youth from starting and growing a business in tourism and hospitality in Rwanda and beyond. In response, Tourism Inc will select 35 entrepreneurs who will receive the right mix of capacity building, financing, and mentorship to become leaders in the sector.
Beyond capacity building and access to finance, the top three entrepreneurs in this cohort will receive seed funding of up to $20,000 to further build their ventures. The program will nurture Rwanda’s top tourism and hospitality innovators and inspire them to embrace entrepreneurship as a career path.
“The individuals and businesses that this round of recruitment is targeting have proven to be extremely resilient. They’ve held on to their innovations amid challenging times and they are inarguably deserving. Investing in them is both a validation of their tenacity and an act of hope—the hope that we will emerge on the other side of the pandemic stronger. And I have no doubt that the next cohort of Tourism Inc entrepreneurs will help to ensure that,” said Rica Rwigamba, Country Head, Rwanda at the Mastercard Foundation.
Applications are now open for the third cohort to enroll in this exciting program.
Applicants who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply:
- Must be a start-up (or have start-up idea) in the tourism and hospitality sector (or supplier to the sector
- Must be between 18 and 35 years of age
- Must be based and operating in Rwanda
- Must be committed to complete the course
Also, women entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to apply.
ESP will be hosting online information sessions to provide interested Tourism and Hospitality entrepreneurs with further details on the program and on how to apply.
For more information:
About Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners
Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP) aims to enable innovative, scalable, and profitable enterprises to build prosperity. Our mission is “to foster entrepreneurial solutions for prosperity.” ESP enables people, firms, institutions, and nations to articulate and implement solutions to their economic challenges.
ESP’s approach is to provide Intelligent Capital™—the right combination of insights and capital—to address critical societal issues. We provide consulting and strategy advisory services to diverse clients, including governments, businesses, and development partners in Africa. We support innovative models and provide leadership training and entrepreneurial boot camps. With offices in Abidjan and Kigali, ESP has been in operation since 2011. For more information, visit www.espartners.co and follow ESP at @ent4prosperity on Twitter
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management.
For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org