On February 19th 2020, Bank of Kigali announced its partnership with Resonate and Kigali City Council (Agaseke Project) in launching the Rwandan Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, a leadership and capacity building program that would take three weeks by training cooperatives owned by women.

Through Bank of Kigali’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, Resonate delivered a leadership and capacity building program for 150 women from three different cooperatives of Agaseke Project. The program aimed at boosting the women’s confidence in their ability to grow their cooperatives, build their soft skills as well as their understanding of the banking system and of how to access financing for their projects.

“In its commitment to financially transform lives, Bank of Kigali supported this capacity building and leadership program through its partnership with Resonate and Agaseke Project. We are confident that the knowledge gained will improve the lives of all 150 participants and those of the communities they live in, said Emmanuel Nkusi Batanage, Head of Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary at Bank of Kigali.

The cooperatives participated in Resonate’s Storytelling for leadership workshops and professional development programs to learn foundational soft skills such as public speaking, self-advocacy, goal-setting and effective communication, skills that are needed to complement their technical skills and successfully grow their businesses.

“To tackle barriers for women’s success as business women or entrepreneurs requires a holistic approach. This can be achieved by bundling technical or business skills training with key soft skills such as leadership, decision-making and goal-setting, and by providing easier access to finance. This combination addresses the unique challenges that women face as they try to grow their cooperatives. ” said Norette Turimuci, Executive Director of Resonate.

Bella Rukwavu, the Coordinator for Agaseke Project said that the initiative targets vulnerable women and girls with no income in order to equip them with skills to sustain themselves as well as their families. “We work with different partners to deliver both practical and soft skills. Currently, we are working with Bank of Kigali and Resonate to unlock women's leadership skills and guide them through legal procedures to access finance, said Bella.

Certificates of merit were handed over to the 150 women who had benefited from the training in a ceremony that took place in the City of Kigali, on March 6th, 2020.