January 12, 2022, was a bittersweet day for young entrepreneurs who received loans from the Association of Mentors for Business and Entrepreneurship in partnership with Caritas Graz based in Austria. The funders conducted a monitoring and evaluation session for 19 young entrepreneurs loaned with 600,000 Burundian Francs (around $300) each refundable with no interest rate, to measure up impact of the project. The session took place in the Rosa Parks American Corner in the National University of Burundi, Kamenge campus under the lead of Jean Berchmans SIBONIYO, a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, 2021-2022 Humphrey Fellow, Founder, and CEO of AMEBE along with Georg Gnigler, the Project Officer at Caritas Graz for Burundi and South Sudan.

The evaluation brought positive results despite challenges encountered by the funded entrepreneurs while implementing their projects. Entrepreneurs who responded to the evaluation session admitted having improved their ways of living and learned a lot from the challenges among which lack of experience (for it was the first entrepreneurial project for most of them), as well as short reimbursement period standing out. The youths suggested increasing the amount of the loans and expanding the reimbursement period. They do not rule out the possibility of taking new loans, now with a small interest rate as they are engaged to pursue with entrepreneurship. Georg Gnigler, who mobilized funds for the project, reiterated that the first phase was just a pilot project, adding that he will sit and discuss with the donor for a bigger project. AMEBE expressed their commitment to continue mentoring and accompanying the young entrepreneurs as long as they will still need them.

As a reminder, the loans were given to youths whose business plan were innovative and promising after a tough competition that took place in December 2021.

By Avit Ndayiziga

Edited by JB



3 Responses

  1. This is Owesome leaders ! As Young entrepreneur I know how hard it is to get a starting capital.
    More thanks to AMEBE leaders ! keep the good work !

  2. We are very grateful for this act of sustaining young people!
    As one who benefited from this project, I do agree that it was beneficial in many points: Economically, psychologically and socially.
    We got benefits, we learned how develop ourselves using and following our business plan without expecting someone else to give commandments, we became self independent!
    You can’t imagine how our society benefited from my business, I am now known as a solution for their telephone matters 📱🤝!

    Hence, thank you for AMEBE,

    Great job for Caritas Graz based in Austria,
    We are looking forward for other wonderful opportunities that will offered to us and those who are ready to be come Economically Independent using their own foreces and the help of good intentioned Institutions!

    Thanks a lot!

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