Challenges and Opportunities of Micro or Small Social Enterprises in Rwanda

Challenges and Opportunities of Micro or Small Social Enterprises in Rwanda

Eugene Remy Rwamigabo (Independent Researcher, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6298-6.ch013

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to provide insights on micro or small social enterprises in Rwanda with a focus on their opportunities and challenges. The author carried out a literature review and interviews. The chapter explores the emergence and evolution of economically oriented social organizations in Rwanda. The context of emergence of social enterprise in Rwanda was shaped, among other factors, by Anglo-Saxon influence. The chapter underlines other contextual factors underlying the current emergence of micro or small social enterprises notably the aftermath of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, and the current entrepreneurships trends. Finally, the chapter examines opportunities shaping micro or small enterprises and investigates challenges facing micro or small social enterprises in Rwanda. The chapter explores and provides insights into the specificities and the current trends of micro or small social enterprise in Rwanda with a view to fostering further analysis for several research avenues.
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Introduction

Micro and small social enterprises are gaining momentum in Rwanda. Owing to their particular social mission, micro or small social enterprises are embedded in specific environments, endowed with proper characteristics, and bringing appropriate solutions to specific social needs. After the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, Rwanda faced many challenges in almost all sectors of activities. (Rwamigabo 2017:5). Different organizations considerably contributed to bringing solutions in different fields of activities, among others in agriculture, education, health, microfinance, youth employment, women empowerment, fair trade, community services, vocational training, environment protection, etc. (Rwamigabo 2017:5). Many local organizations were mainly funded by international donor organizations and settled a variety of social and economic problems through different channels, among others microfinance, cooperatives, vocational trainings, youth and women empowerment with income-generating activities, etc. Likewise, informal associations emerged within different communities. Micro or small social enterprises have been and are being shaped by the cultural, the social, economic, geographical context. (Rwamigabo 2017:5). The context of the emergence of social enterprises in Rwanda was influenced, among others, by the 1994 genocide aftermath, the Anglo-Saxon influence, the current legal and institutional framework, public policies, the economic relationships between the Rwandan government and social enterprises; the current governance, entrepreneurships trends prevailing in Rwanda, etc. (Rwamigabo 2017:5). With those trends as a key background, we provide insights on micro or small social enterprises in Rwanda with focus on their various opportunities and challenges. The chapter is organized in five sections: the first section explored the emergence and evolution of economically oriented social organizations in Rwanda. The second section analyzed the concept and contextual factors underlying the current emergence of micro or small social enterprises in Rwanda. The third section provides the economic relationships between government and micro or small social enterprises. The fourth section examines opportunities for micro or small enterprises while the fifth and last section investigated challenges facing micro or small social enterprises in Rwanda.

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