Tourism Inc

Tourism is the largest source of foreign earnings in Rwanda (Around 450 million dollars). It aims to double tourism receipts to 800 million US dollars by 2024 and create an estimated 151,000 jobs by 2030.

However, it has only 3,500 entities in Tourism and Hospitality.

78% are microbars and restaurants with limited growth and job creation prospects. Men represent 113% of the Tourism & Hospitality sector. Youth and Women are under-represented.

There is also limited support in innovative Tourism ventures and a lack of enough SME training in the Tourism & Hospitality sector.

Hence, Hanga Ahazaza, an initiative from MasterCard foundation, plans to support entrepreneurs with small businesses  through funding and training so they can create jobs for other youth. They are also targeting to create 30,000 jobs through employment

ESP partners with Hanga Ahazaza initiative to provide Intelligent Capital—through a 6-month incubator program targeting 20 young entrepreneurs twice a year.


Selection Criteria and Benefits

What you get:

  • Financial assistance for selected entrepreneurs
  • Workshops & technical assistance to help business grow
  • Free co-working space
  • One-on-one coaching to empower entrepreneurs to achieve your goals
  • Networking with experts,banks and other financial institutions

Who can apply:

  • Must have a startup (or idea) in the tourism and hospitality sector or as a supplier to the sector
  • Must be between 18-35 years old
  • Must be à Rwanda based business
  • Tech ideas related to tourism & hospitality are also welcome*female applications are strongly encouraged

What else are we looking for?

  • We are looking for innovative businesses or ideas in tech that can transform or better yet disrupt the Tourism and Hospitality sector. The global trends that you can bank on in Tourism and Hospitality sector are:
    • On-line booking
    • Mobile apps 
    • Chat bots and Artificial intelligence
    • Solo travelling
    • Eco-tourism
    • Local experiences
    • Bleisure: Business Leisure
    • Robots
    • Recognition technology: Face/Voice
    • Internet of things devices
    • Virtual and Augmented Reality
    • Healthy/Organic food
    • Tech-based customer experience


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: