Access to Finance Rwanda, ConsumerCentriX, and Partners Announce Winners of SME Response Clinic Business Awards

Access to Finance Rwanda, ConsumerCentriX, and Partners Announce Winners of SME Response Clinic Business Awards

  • Three diverse Rwandan businesses win inaugural SME Response Clinic Business Awards with Rwf 1,000,000 prize
  • Winners selected from 1,200 nominations across the country
  • Five runners-up awarded 6-month business skills course

Access to Finance Rwanda and ConsumerCentriX today announced the winners of the inaugural SME Response Clinic Business Awards following the Twiteze Imbere campaign to recognise the role of small businesses in Rwanda’s road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the campaign, the general public nominated their favourite small businesses, giving their nominees the chance to win an SME Response Clinic Business Award. The competition featured three categories: women-owned businesses, start-up or innovative businesses, and established businesses. Rwandans made online nominations via the SME Response Clinic website and over the phone.

The three winning small businesses and five runners-up were selected from among 30 shortlisted companies after careful and thorough deliberation. Access to Finance Rwanda and ConsumerCentriX are pleased to announce that the winners and runners-up are:

  • Women-owned business category:
    • Winner: Kurema Kureba Kwiga, a public-arts social enterprise located in Kigali
    • Runner-up: Kicirwanda, an art and craft store based in Kigali
  • Startup/Innovative business category:
    • Winner: HADI Constructions, a construction consulting firm based in Nyagatare District
    • Runners-up: Bhiku Bakery from Rwamagana District and Johnson’s Bakery from Kicukiro District
  • Established business category:
    • Winner: Umucyo Company, a liquid soap manufacturer based in Kirehe District
    • Runners-up: Blessed Garden, a female-owned guest house based in Kayonza District, and Crema, a coffee shop located in Musanze District

The awards come as a result of the SME Response Clinic campaign ‘Twiteze Imbere’ (Let’s Move Forward Together), which celebrated the resilience of small businesses and recognised their contribution to Rwanda’s economic recovery. The SME Response Clinic is a platform developed by Access to Finance Rwanda and ConsumerCentriX in collaboration with the Private Sector Federation, the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda, African Management Institute, New Faces New Voices Rwanda, and Rwanda Bankers’ Association.

“Congratulations to the winners and runners-up of the SME Response Clinic Business Awards. In just a few weeks, we received 1,200 nominations from across the country. We were pleased to see great diversity among the nominated small businesses, enthusiasm from their customers, and the impact they are having in their communities on our journey of COVID-19 recovery,” said Jean Bosco Iyacu, Country Director, Access to Finance Rwanda.

“We are grateful to everyone who took part in the Twiteze Imbere campaign, partner institutions as well as media partners who helped us spread the word. It’s rewarding to see the SME Response Clinic reaching small businesses in every corner of this country and we will continue to support them in these difficult times and beyond,” he added.

“I am honoured and excited to be one of the winners of the SME Response Clinic Business Awards. This award recognises the important role of the creative industry in the economy and the prize money will support my business to grow. Thank you to the SME Response Clinic and its partners for organising this campaign and for looking out for small businesses,” said Judith Kaine, Director of Kurema Kureba Kwiga, one of the winning businesses.

The winner in each category receives a cash prize of Rwf 1,000,000 to invest in their business as well as expert advisory services. Runners-up will be sponsored to participate in the African Management Institute’s Survive to Thrive programme where they will learn how to navigate business challenges and network with other entrepreneurs in Rwanda and across Africa.

About the SME Response Clinic

In May 2020, Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) partnered with ConsumerCentriX to launch the SME Response Clinic – a platform that supports entrepreneurs in Rwanda struggling in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The SME Response Clinic provides access to training, industry insights, and financial management advice to entrepreneurs in Rwanda struggling to adjust to the economic realities of COVID-19. Access the platform at

About Access to Finance Rwanda

AFR began its operations in 2010 with the core objective of stimulating the development of the financial sector in Rwanda. AFR’s intention is to remove the systemic barriers that hinder access to financial services by putting low-income people particularly the rural poor and women at the centre of its interventions. AFR supports the development and provision of financial services including savings, credit, insurance, payments, and remittances. Learn more at

About ConsumerCentriX

ConsumerCentriX is a strategy consulting firm that works with financial service providers and policymakers on translating consumer insights into market strategies and policies to reach the un/underserved. Our mission is to develop scalable solutions that are based on deep insights into the lives, needs, and constraints of un/underserved people in emerging markets to improve their livelihoods and create opportunities for economic growth.

Media Contact

For any enquiries, write to Nadege Nzeyimana, AFR Communications Consultant, at

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