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Creating off-farm Rwandan enterprises (CORE)

Communities in Nyamasheke and Rusizi in Rwanda remain predominantly agricultural. The rate of unemployment remains very high, with men significantly outnumbering the women when it comes to employment in both districts. As such this project aims to support women and youth run cooperatives and help them build diverse off-farm entrepreneurship skills so that women and youth increase their opportunities to make a living and keep their families safe.

The project will facilitate the creation of off-farm enterprises and market-oriented businesses among women and youth through business facilitation trainings that link them with long-term business mentors who can provide support and advice on how to grow and sustain their enterprises. The project will strengthen the environment for the successful management of cooperatives and business groups run by women and youth cooperatives through dialogue, research and advocacy. The project will also help women and youth entrepreneurs to access financial services in a sensible manner, in order to invest in their businesses.

Through the trainings and dialogue sessions, business is being leveraged to adopt conflict and gender sensitive practices. It will allow businesses and entrepreneurs to work together with local leaders to overcome barriers to business operations and growth, and address the concerns of community members – allowing for more inclusive and sustainable development within communities and end all kinds of violence and gender issues women and youth cross-border traders face in their daily work.

In the long term we foresee increased off-farm entrepreneurship and market-oriented businesses among women and youth.

This is a three-year project which began in October 2018.