Uwimana standing behind the counter

Our work in Rwanda

Hand in Hand launched in Rwanda in 2012. Working with local partner CARE Rwanda, an NGO with years of experience mobilizing savings groups in the country, the three-year, US $3.2 million partnership aimed to create 80,000 jobs by March 2015.

That was then. In early-2015 the program was extended for another year, having vastly exceeded its targets. Not only had more enterprises than expected been created, their owners were hiring more employees: seven or more per enterprise in an unprecedented 17 percent of cases.

Today, the program serves as a testament to the power of partnerships – combining Hand in Hand’s job creation model and CARE Rwanda’s savings groups – and a blueprint for future expansion. We’ll be sharing our learning with the development community within and beyond Rwanda throughout 2016.

By the numbers

Members trained: 129,816

Our Self-Help Group members save together, train together and start businesses together


Businesses started: 83,438

Hand in Hand entrepreneurs in Rwanda farm crops, weave clothes, run shops and more

Jobs created: 115,041

“Development happens through jobs,” says the World Bank. Our entrepreneurs make their own success, breaking the cycle of dependency

Lives improved: 417,190

Every business we help create in Rwanda benefits an average five family members – young, old and everywhere in between

Independent results

Hand in Hand strives to be as transparent as possible. Read our latest independent evaluation from Rwanda below.

Why Rwanda

Rwanda is a mixture of poverty and promise. The country has come a long way since the 1994 genocide claimed some 800,000 lives, but there’s still so much to be done.

Source: World Bank, 2011

44.9% of Rwandans live below the poverty line

Source: World Food Programme, 2013

43% of children between the ages of six months and five years suffer from chronic malnutrition

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, 2012

33% of women are illiterate

Source: World Food Programme, 2013

21% of households are food insecure

Meet Hand in Hand Eastern Africa CEO Albert Wambagu

Albert joined Hand in Hand Eastern Africa in 2012, having spent 13 years in senior roles at CIC Group, one Kenya’s fastest-growing insurance companies.

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