Hanga Ahazaza

2 min read
01 Jan 2024

Sector: Tourism and hospitality

We are a $50 million initiative from the Mastercard Foundation to increase employment opportunities for thirty thousand Rwandan youth in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

Hanga Ahazaza means “create the future” in Kinyarwanda and that’s exactly what the organization aims to do. Launched in 2018 by the Mastercard Foundation, it is focused on stimulating job creation for young Rwandans by providing skills programs and work opportunities and by supporting small businesses. The organization identified tourism and hospitality as a focus sector and brought together a consortium of partners from the education, development, financial services and private sectors to achieve its goals. 

“Hanga Ahazaza is supporting entrepreneurs with small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector through increased access to financial services and business development skills training so that they can create new employment opportunities for young people,” says Rica Rwigamba, country head for Rwanda at the Mastercard Foundation. “It provides the right skills and accompanies these entrepreneurs to access finance.” A $50 million initiative, Hanga Ahazaza backs a variety of programs that provide services to startups at different stages, including AMI, ESPartners and Inkomoko Entrepreneur Development. There are various options for entrepreneurs to receive support specific to the needs of their company and a range of tools and training to help businesses grow. “What makes it unique is the integrated approach that Hanga Ahazaza uses,” says Rica. “It also helps businesses find qualified staff who are being trained by other Hanga Ahazaza partners in the education sector. This provides end-to-end support that responds to the youth employment challenge in a holistic manner.” 

Hanga Ahazaza has supported hundreds of businesses and created thousands of jobs. It encourages job seekers, employees looking to upgrade their skills in tourism and hospitality management, and small business owners to apply for support, particularly those who are young women. Rica says, “Hanga Ahazaza partners are providing support to early-stage entrepreneurs from conception to validation, with a focus on young women. They are also building a platform and a community where aspiring women entrepreneurs are supported and trained to become tomorrow’s champions in tourism.”


Fit the criteria.
We are looking for women- and youth-led businesses that want to speed their development through training.

Create jobs.
Your business should have the potential to make a meaningful contribution to job creation in Rwanda.

Be innovative.
We are seeking innovative businesses in terms of use of technology or business model.

Show you can scale.
The companies we support are those that can demonstrate real potential to scale. 

Application can be sent via

Main Photo by: Illume Creative Studio