I&M Bank Rwanda, the European Commission, the European Union Delegation and FMO have joined forces through a $10 million NASIRA Risk Sharing Facility to support the growth and development of the MSMEs in Rwanda.

FMO’s NASIRA risk sharing program takes the form of a loan portfolio guarantee and supports financial institutions in increasing their lending activities for MSMEs with a focus on underserved business segments, such as smallholder farmers, women-owned and youth-owned businesses, who often are unable to access financing due to a higher credit risk.

FMO’s NASIRA program enables financial institutions to more confidently lend to these riskier client segments by sharing the possible credit losses with the financial institutions and thereby reducing the risks involved. In addition to the risk sharing facility, the NASIRA programme also includes technical assistance to support the financial institution with the tools to access and service these segments effectively, as well as a portfolio management tool to facilitate an automated monitoring process. The NASIRA risk sharing programme is implemented by FMO and supported by the European Commission and the Dutch Government.

Robin Bairstow, CEO, I&M Bank Rwanda: ”We are excited to announce our strategic partnership with FMO through the establishment of the NASIRA Portfolio Guarantee. This collaboration represents a deliberate move by I&M Bank Rwanda Plc to diversify our business and focus on developing the MSME sector. By joining forces, we have the opportunity to amplify our outreach and support to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Rwanda. Together, we aim to unlock the potential of traditionally underserved segments, including women and youth borrowers. This partnership not only strengthens our position as the leading financial partner for growth but also aligns perfectly with our strategy, reinforcing our commitment to providing sector-specific customer value propositions. With the NASIRA Guarantee, we are confident that we can drive the growth and success of MSMEs in Rwanda, driving economic development and creating opportunities for the future.”

FMO’s NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee will be supporting I&M Bank Rwanda to increase its lending to Rwandan MSMEs with a specific focus on smallholder farmers, youth, and women entrepreneurs who face the most challenges in accessing formal bank financing in Rwanda. Additionally, through the NASIRA programme, FMO will be supporting I&M Bank Rwanda with technical assistance to develop specific client value propositions for the smallholder farmer and women-owned MSME clients.

Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Co-Chief Investment Officer, FMO: ”We are delighted to have this opportunity to support MSMEs in Rwanda. The NASIRA facility represents a new approach to unlocking support for underserved groups, and we express our gratitude to I&M Bank Rwanda for their commitment to the MSME segment. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the European Commission in making this guarantee facility possible. Together, we look forward to making a positive impact and fostering the growth and success of these individuals and their businesses.”