• Economic Growth and Environment

Teaching Young Rwandans Entrepreneurial Skills

“Growing up in a poor family like mine, you were doomed from the start. You had no one to stand up for you or take care for you. I had to do whatever I could to survive,” said Emmanuel Niyibizi, 31.

The One UN supports the Government of Rwanda (GoR)'s Hanga Umurimo (Create-Your-Own-Job) Initiative through UNDP's Building an Inclusive Financial Sector in Rwanda (BIFSIR) program. The joint initiative focuses making holistic changes in the lives of young people, particularlly through entrepreneurial action and access to finance.  

Before the Hanga Umurimo Iniative, Emmanuel was a carpenter, but with little means and limited capacities. “Back in 2006, I started carpentry without having acquired any skills, as I had stopped schooling at a very young age and I didn’t have the right equipment to do well,” he said. However, Emmanuel was a fast learner and he developed strong labor skills during his training period. Because of his impressive improvement during training, Emmanuel was selected to be a trainer for other youth who had similar aspirations to become professional carpenters.

Emmanuel's participation in the Hanga Umurimo Iniative proved to be a turning point in his life, as it helped him gain the confidence and determination neccessary for his continued success. “This program changed my life, not because it provided me with some money but because it changed the way I think about myself. I am not some helpless person who things just happen to. I am a contributing member of society and I have control over my life. Can you imagine? I am now paying my wife’s university studies and I also completed paying university fees for my brother.”