African Management Institute and Mastercard Foundation award top performing entrepreneurs in Rwanda through the AMI Resilience Prize

  • More than 600 AMI’s business programme graduates applied for the AMI Resilience Prize.
  • The top six entrepreneurs from the four provinces of Rwanda and the City of Kigali each received a cash prize worth Rwf 1,000,000 and will gain extended access to AMI business tools.
  • Entrepreneurs who completed AMI’s business programmes networked with each other and promoted their businesses at AMI Resilience Prize outreach events across Rwanda.

The African Management Institute, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has awarded the best performing entrepreneurs in Rwanda through the AMI Resilience Prize. The awardees have had impressive growth in their businesses, made an impact in their community, and shown remarkable resilience after completing one of AMI’s business programmes.

Recognizing the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the AMI Resilience Prize celebrates the achievements and persistence of entrepreneurs who completed at least one of AMI’s programmes. Graduates eligible for the prize included those who completed either the AMI Business Survival Bootcamp, Survive to Thrive programme, or Take Your Business Online programme. These programmes are offered by African Management Institute in partnership with Mastercard Foundation.

To celebrate these impressive entrepreneurs, the African Management Institute organised a series of countrywide outreach events and heard how the skills acquired from AMI’s programmes improved their business performance, enabled them to network with each other, and grow their businesses.

During these events, the top fifteen entrepreneurs (selected from more than 600 AMI graduates who applied for the prize) reflected on how they overcame a range of business challenges by adapting to market changes and creating jobs – while also contributing to the country’s economic recovery.

“The AMI Resilience Prize recognises the achievements and resilience of entrepreneurs who completed AMI’s business programmes. Around 600 graduates applied for the prize – demonstrating the passion and dedication that exists in our growing network of graduates. Today we announced the top six entrepreneurs who have had a great impact on their businesses and the community. I congratulate the AMI Resilience Prize winners. It was an incredibly difficult task to select the winners because all AMI Thrivers are winners. You inspire us every day,” said Allen Ingabire, Partnership Manager at AMI Rwanda.

The six entrepreneurs awarded at today’s grand finale of the AMI Resilience Prize at Norrsken Kigali House each received a cash prize of Rwf 1,000,000 and will gain extended access to AMI tools and professional support to keep their businesses thriving. Norrsken House Kigali has also offered to support their entrepreneurship journey by availing a working space for the top six AMI Resilience Prize winners.

“When the Covid-19 pandemic started, AMI responded by supporting almost 4,000 businesses in all 30 districts of Rwanda. This represents more than 8,000 people who kept their jobs. As the Mastercard Foundation, we are humbled by the partnership with AMI which brings us a step forward to achieving our vision of providing 300,000 dignified and fulfilling work opportunities to young people, especially young women, in Rwanda by 2030,” said Livingstone Nkuusi, representing Rica Rwigamba, Country Head of the Mastercard Foundation in Rwanda.

At today’s event, 31 finalists from the 2021 HangaPitch Fest also graduated from AMI’s Survive to Thrive programme. The HangaPitch Fest is an annual competition organized by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation and the Rwanda Development Board. The Hanga Pitfest graduates now have the opportunity to join AMI’s Take Your Business Online programme, a one-month business programme that supports entrepreneurs in Rwanda to leverage social media and other online platforms to gain brand visibility and engage directly with clients.


As part of its long-term commitment to enabling ambitious businesses across Rwanda to thrive, AMI Rwanda recently opened a new office in Musanze District in partnership with Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA). Young entrepreneurs, especially those with micro, small and medium businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector as well as the creative industry from Musanze District, will be enrolled in AMI’s programmes, offered under the Hanga Ahazaza initiative in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, and be equipped with skills and tools to help them seize new business opportunities.

AMI Resilience Prize Winners

  • Eastern Province: Juvenal Kabagambe, Founder and Managing Director of Urban and Rural Farming Development Company Ltd, a youth association based in Rwamagana District, which designs and implements innovative agricultural projects and supports post-harvest handling and management.
  • Northern Province: Jeanne d’Arc Nyirampakaniye, Chief Executive Officer of Tuberwe Knitting, Tailoring and Handcraft Centre, a company that makes clothes with locally made accessories and provides sewing training to both women and youth in Musanze District.
  • Southern Province: Thierry Rushema, Founder of Better Fashion and Design Ltd which designs and produces Made in Rwanda clothes, and offers sewing training to young people in Huye District.
  • Western Province: Marthe Niyonshuti, Owner of Amahoro Farming Business Ltd, a chicken farm which raises and sells chickens in Karongi District.
  • City of Kigali: Claudine Niyonzima, Co-founder of SAN Tech Ltd, a tech hub based in Kigali that equips young IT technicians, especially women and girls, with innovation and development skills.
  • People’s Choice Entrepreneur: Marthe Niyonshuti, Owner of Amahoro Farming Business Ltd, a chicken farm which raises and sells chickens in Karongi District.

About the African Management Institute

The African Management Institute (AMI) enables enthusiastic businesses across Africa to thrive through practical tools and training. We equip entrepreneurs with tools to build their businesses, help companies train their teams and run work readiness programmes for young people starting their careers. AMI’s programmes combine online and mobile tools with in-person workshops and on-the-job practice and support. During the Covid-19 period, AMI has delivered fully virtual programming across the continent.

AMI has worked with a range of businesses and organisations to support entrepreneurs and managers build and grow their businesses across Africa including Uber, Nestle, Radisson Blu, RwandAir, Mastercard Foundation, USAID, Shell Foundation and Equity Bank. AMI has directly trained more than 30,000 people in over 30 countries and has offices in Nairobi, Kigali and Johannesburg.

For more information, visit www.africanmanagers.org/rwanda.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organisations 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 organisation with its own Board of Directors and management.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org

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