Sub-Saharan Africa

IB Policies Around the World

Africa has a great potential for inclusive business models and the region is gaining more and more attention. National governments are increasingly recognizing the potential of inclusive business to reduce poverty and strengthen the economy, The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECD) has been implemented in 2008 in order to ease access to finance for African businesses. Since then, the fund has steadily increased and is now with USD 250m one of the largest challenge funds in Africa. AECF awards grants and repayable grants to businesses, which are not only profitable but also have social impact.



In 2000 Rwanda adopted the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) Vision 2025. It embraced legal and institutional reforms, which have brought about many changes in the Rwandan economic and social environment. Some initiatives aimed at achieving economic gains with social benefit.

There is no specific authority or institution in charge of social and inclusive entrepreneurship in Rwanda. This competence is shared among other institutions between the following ministries: Ministry of Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs (MINEACOM), Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), Ministry of Youth (MINIYOUTH).

No legal or policy framework specifically dedicated to IB has been adopted yet. However, a number of other relevant policies aim at strengthening an ecosystem and support the same objectives as those of IB: inclusion of the BoP populations (including women), green economy, inclusive job creation, poverty alleviation, etc. For example, in 2016 Rwanda participated in the development of the East Africa Development Cooperation Roadmap 2016-2021 which supports social start-ups and incorporates the BOP into the value chains of large companies. Furthermore, favorable tax and procurement incentives were established for local MSMEs.

Though there is no national advocacy network for IB in Rwanda, the regional network EASEN (the East Africa Social Enterprise Network), committed to the development of the social entrepreneurship sector in East Africa (in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan), acts as an intermediary between the national policy makers in order to improve the ecosystem of target enterprises.