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Business Development Centres
In 2011 RDB adopted a new strategy of involving private operators in the management of BDS Centers. Private sector engagement is Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) model in which government retains ownership of BDS Centre’s assets and the operator assumes responsibility for all expenditures. 4 private operators entered into contract with RDB to manage all 30 BDCs (1 BDC in each district) as follows:
The services provided by the BDCs (Business Development Centers) include, but not limited to the following;
Entrepreneurial Development Services
These services involve training entrepreneurs to develop essential skills for professional development. This help participant to identify, develop and implement business ideas.
The Centers provide commercial registration for companies so as to encourage formal businesses and to facilitate the process of starting a business by bringing it closer to the business community. This service has already started in 8 Centers and is to be extended to other Centers.
Trainings, Business Advice and Counseling
Trainings, individual business mentoring and counseling form an important part of the BDC’s daily activities. Participants can vary from new entrepreneurs with minimum skills needing general assistance to the established and skilled businesses needing specialized knowledge or a specific intervention.
The most training conducted through BDCs are:
And the business counseling services can relate to tender advice, business plan implementation, loan management, marketing, book keeping and performance management.
Facilitating Access to Finance
Companies or individuals are introduced to financial institutions; particularly those which offer loans to the people turned away by banks and other formal financial institutions such as micro finance institutions and support funds such as SME Support Scheme.
This includes provision of trade point services by facilitating the business community to access domestic and international investment and trade information. The Centers serve as sources of information on tourism services in Rwanda, and any other information related services.
Export Development Services
These services involve facilitating and empowering SMEs in international trade. This program target companies or individuals that have no or little previous export experience yet have export potential. This program helps companies to assess their export readiness and develop an export plan. These services include training programs that enable participants to cover essential elements of exporting such as increasing volumes and value, export costing, methods of payment, international marketing, export documentation and foreign exchange, etc.
IT services are offered by facilitating the business community to access and use internet and any other IT related facilities.
Tax Advisory Services
The BDCs also are used as a platform for the Rwanda Revenue Authority to offer tax education services to the potential and existing tax payers.
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