Startup Rwanda Roadtrip 2022
2 September 2022

2021-22 has been incredibly positive for BeEntrepreneurs, thanks to the completion of the Next Generation Africa project, which, after the pandemic and the various lockdowns, allowed us to close a circle, a journey that we had long dreamed of.

Last May, in fact, the winning startups of the bootcamps held in Kampala in 2019 and 2021 finally arrived in Italy for a week of intense networking with our partners. There were many opportunities to present their business to the Italian market, fulfilling the vision of BeEntrepreneurs and Startup Africa Roadtrip:

to create bridges for innovation and relational networks between Italy and Africa, which allow win-win business opportunities, supporting young entrepreneurs and their high-impact projects.

The final event of the week, organized thanks to the support of Innovazione per lo Sviluppo and Cariplo Factory and with over 100 participants, closed the first cycle of Startup Africa Roadtrip and made us proud and full of energy to be able to project ourselves towards the next activities!

We had been thinking about it for a while, actually: we refined the details, chose the time frame, contacted startups, universities, potential partners and… in a very short time, we found ourselves in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, the city of a thousand hills!

Rwanda is a country with an incredible history, sadly marred by the cruelty of the 1994 genocide, from which, however, the small state, which has about the same surface area as Lombardy, has risen to establish itself as a solid international economic player. The annual growth in terms of GDP remains steadily above 8%, corruption levels are minimal, the Parliament is composed of over 60% women and the nickname ‘Switzerland of Africa’ now sounds more and more credible.

With these premises, it goes without saying that we couldn’t wait to learn more and experience the ecosystem of Kigali firsthand!

It was a very intense week, with meetings of great interest that will be the basis for us to reflect on our activities for the next year. We visited two universities, found spaces of innovation of the highest level like the one started in 2021 by Norrsken Foundation, spoke with representatives of the institutional world, with founders of startups who shared their experiences with us, with investors and foundations that received us with great kindness, interest, and participation.

We shared our formula and our desire to repeat the experience of Kampala here in Kigali!

We wish to thank everyone who made the organization of this “exploratory” trip possible, which allowed us to get to know Kigali and the Rwandan innovation ecosystem, especially through the eyes of those who live and work daily with local companies.

So a special thanks to:

European Embassy in Rwanda, ICE Agency, Rwanda Development Board, European Business Chamber of Rwanda, Guardian Angels, GroFin, Congo Fresh, Kivu Choice, Kosmotive, WePush, Spenn Rwanda, Pesa Choice, Alfia Group, Uplus, NjordFre, Mentale, Hepta, Norrsken, Impact Hub, 250startups, The African Leadership University, University of Rwanda, Africa Synergy, Intego Academy, Rwanda Game Developers Association, Mastercard Foundation, Digital Africa.

We enjoyed a few days of summer rest before activities resume in September, when we will not fail to keep you updated on the next steps of Startup Africa Roadtrip 2023!

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