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SME Facility


Applications for the second cohort of agri-food SMEs are now closed. We will be reviewing all applications received and contacting successful candidates shortly. 


What We Offer?

Successful applicants gain unique access to specialized expertise that is difficult to obtain or expensive in Rwanda. SMEs are paired with a technical assistance provider from our network according to their specific need or goals. SMEs can choose their provider and work with them to co-design a circular adoption plan and/or scaling solution unique to them. Beyond this, the program supports agri-food SMEs to become better integrated into the sector through market linkages.

Who can apply?

The SME Facility is open to SMEs operating in the agri-food sector in Rwanda that are driving progress towards a circular economy.

SMEs can be involved in any stage of the food system, including agricultural inputs, production, storage, processing, packaging or distribution of food. They may work in any agricultural value chain, but priority is being placed on horticulture, grains, aquaculture and livestock value chains, as well as circular innovations that can be applied across the food system.


Core Eligibility:

  • Demonstrated agri-food focus
  • Demonstrated understanding of business fit in value chain
  • Proposing new or expanded circularity integration
  • 2+ years of operation
  • Local registration in good standing with relevant authorities in Rwanda
  • Technology-enabled
  • Partner/investor relationship referrals

What kind of support is available?

The Facility will focus on delivering Technical Assistance that is currently unavailable or difficult to access in Rwanda to selected SMEs. The Facility will also be committed to exploring circular business opportunities that would not otherwise receive investment.

After filling in the application form, companies will be contacted for follow-up and assessment. Shortlisted SMEs will be matched with a Technical Assistance provider. As well as implementing Technical Assistance, the SME and the Technical Assistance provider will develop and present a proposal for future partners and/or funders.

In the long term, the Facility aims to build a thriving ecosystem of investment-ready circular agri-food SMEs. 

Examples of the type of Technical Assistance that could be available include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Guidance on how to incorporate circularity through a specific need, demand, or market opportunity. For example: creating value chains from agricultural residues, reducing production costs or increasing yields

  • One to one coaching or mentoring on how to incorporate circularity within a business model and implement circular practices over a period of approximately three months

  • Training on circularity practices such as composting, vermiculture, agri-protein, organic fertilizers, agri-processing or product diversification.

  • Coaching on developing proposals on circular innovation or transition applications and links to potential funders

  • Unpacking and understanding the economics of circular food applications and their impacts and outcomes

Cohort One SMEs in Rwanda's Circular Food Systems Program

Learn more about the small and medium enterprises selected to participate in cohort one of the Circular Food Systems for Rwanda program. In this cohort, we paired seven SMEs working across the food and agricultural sectors in the country with technical assistance providers. They worked closely with the SMEs to help them develop circular business models and adopt new practices to help them grow and thrive.

Introducing the first cohort of entrepreneurs driving Rwanda's food systems with the Circular Food Systems for Rwanda SME Fund

Meet The SMEs