In 2007, the presidents of four African nations invited ICCC to help them develop their countries. ICCC invited delegations from each of the nations Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, and Benin—to meetings in Israel where historic trade agreements were signed. These were the first trade agreements between Israel and African nations since Israel’s 1967 war.
In addition to the trade agreements, ICCC began working with the governments of Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia and Benin to develop projects that address the major needs of each nation. One project common to all four nations is a Business Development Center which will train entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and provide ongoing support services to insure their success.
Drawing on a long-term relationship between ICCC leaders and Dr. John Mulford, Director of the Regent University Center for Entrepreneurship (RCE), ICCC invited Mulford and RCE to partner in the BDC project.
Dr. Mulford and RCE strategist, Jason Benedict, developed a special curriculum for this project. It emphasizes hands-on learning to prepare aspiring entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the challenging world of business startups. Much of the program consists of field assignments where students observe, research, analyze, and test their ideas in the marketplace. Students are able to draw not only on their instructors, but also on visiting business experts from around the world who will meet with students to advise them on their business ideas and plans.
Local experts on Rwandan business practices will visit the class periodically to provide technical information needed for successful business in Rwanda. In addition, some of the students will be experienced entrepreneurs who have run businesses in Rwanda for many years. Younger, less experienced students can learn from these classmates.
The Republic of Rwanda has enthusiastically sponsored this project from the highest levels of the government. The government, operating through the Rwanda Development Board, is providing the training facility for the program and working closely with RCE to identify students, provide information on business regulations, and connect the BDC to the Rwandan private sector.
The BDC will continue to provide mentoring, consulting, and connections to the entrepreneurs after they complete training and start their businesses. BDC Rwanda officially became a licensee in 2015, led by Patrice Habinshuti and Anatole Majyambere.
BDC Rwanda in the News
The Rwanda BDC was recently featured in a segment on The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Read how the Center for Entrepreneurship is impacting lives around the globe…Read More
Ntare Karitanyi is a graduate of BDC Rwanda Cohort 1. He holds a master’s degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Buffalo/USA, (1997). Read More
Jacques and Hamim were best friends in grade school. After going to different universities, they found themselves both playing football for the Rwanda National team. Over the next few years, Dreamteam Football Academy became their joint vision…Read More.
Volunteer with the BDC
BDC Rwanda is supported by the Regent Center for Entrepreneurship (RCE), the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), and its donors and supporters. We have a big vision for transforming Rwanda by starting and growing a thousand businesses that will provide tens of thousands of fulfilling jobs to the people of Kigali. We need help from those of like mind and vision. There are a number of ways you can volunteer to serve in a Business Development Center:
- Donate – We are in need of financial partners willing to support this project through a tax-deductible financial gift. We will send you updates and stories about the lives, families, and communities that are changed because of the program in Rwanda.
- Be a facilitator – Facilitators are trainer/instructors who help our students learn by leading a two-week module of our 14-week training.
- Be a Visiting Executive – VEs are typically business owners, executives and entrepreneurs who travel to a Business Development Center where they meet with our learners and graduates to provide them with council, coaching and mentoring. A second role for VEs is to consult with government policy makers and to teach seminars aimed at various business sectors where they have expertise.
- Become a Distance Consultant – Our students appreciate the assistance of an online mentor as they continue their business ventures post graduation. You can help them succeed without a passport.
- Prayer & Encouragement Partners – Our students and graduates also greatly appreciate intercessors that provide encouragement through prayer, specifically for them and their businesses.
Contact us if you would like to volunteer to serve or get involved with a Business Development Center!