Paul Hakizimana’s journey of money transfer and business growth in Kigeme camp

Paul Hakizimana Ndayambaje was born in Congo, but he had to flee his country when war broke out. He and his family found refuge in Kigeme camp in Rwanda, where they hoped to start a new life. Paul had finished secondary school, but he had no luck finding a steady job in the camp. He took advantage of any opportunity he could find to earn some money, no matter how small. He saved diligently from his earnings and eventually started his own money transfer business.

Paul knew that many refugees in the camp needed to send or receive money from their relatives or friends in Rwanda. He also knew that MTN Mobile Money was a popular and accessible service that could help them do that. He applied to MTN and started offering mobile money transfer and MTN sim card swap services. He also partnered with Equity bank to provide banking services.

He expanded his business by opening another shop in the camp, where he sold essential items such as soap, sugar, cooking oil and rice. Paul’s business was thriving, but he noticed a growing demand for money transfer services outside Rwanda. Many refugees in Kigeme had relatives in Europe and America. He researched about Western Union, a global leader in money transfer that could link his customers with over 200 countries and territories. He applied for a Western Union agent license through Equity bank and invested some of his profits to buy a kiosk and a laptop. He became the first and only Western Union agent in the camp, offering fast and reliable transfers to his customers.

Paul joined Inkomoko in 2017 and was inspired by our training programs and mentorship opportunities. He acquired skills in financial management, marketing, record keeping and growth planning. “With Inkomoko’s support, I was able to access loans that increased my working capital and expanded my customer base. I could offer more services and deal with bigger amounts of money. Inkomoko also assigned me a business advisor who guided me to think strategically and creatively about how to use my capital wisely and grow my business sustainably,” said Paul.

Paul serving a client

Paul took 800,000 Rwf as his fourth loan cycle with Inkomoko. He used the money mostly to increase his capital and be able to serve many customers. Paul’s hard work paid off. His capital grew to 5 million Rwf (about $4500) . He is able to serve an average of 30 customers per month, sometimes handling transfers as large as 3,000,000 Rwf (about $2600). 

He is proud of his achievements and grateful for Inkomoko’s support. He is able to provide for his family’s needs and become economically independent. He also has a vision for the future. He hopes to return to Congo one day and start a business there with his savings and skills.

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