Recently, the Jesuit Urumuri Centre hosted the 3rd cohort beneficiaries of its youth empowerment program for project proposal presentations. Among the distinguished guests were Mr. Prudence Kayiranga, SJ, the programs manager at JUC, Mr. Wilson Muhirwa, a consultant affiliated with Business Development Centre (BDC-Rwanda), and Mrs. Diane Irankunda, a project manager at Grow Movement Rwanda.


The youth empowerment project, launched in 2020, aims to address the high unemployment rates among high school and university graduates in Rwanda. The 3rd cohort, comprised of Rwandan, Burundian, and Nigerian youth, began their training on social innovation and entrepreneurship in November 2023. The program’s overarching goal is that the youth are anticipated to possess the necessary skills for innovation in business creation and management, alongside the capacity to make meaningful contributions to their communities by generating employment opportunities for their peers.


Under the guidance of JUC, 40 carefully selected youth undergo a comprehensive training program consisting of five modules: self-discovery, self-realization, innovation development & prototyping, marketing & promotion, operations, financing & financial management, and strategic planning & sustainability. Upon completing the training, selected beneficiaries graduate and undergo coaching and mentoring for the first six months of their businesses.



The recent event showcased project presentations across various industries, including health and beauty, education, textiles, electrical engineering, food processing, agriculture, animal farming, timber, and services.


During the event, beneficiaries shared their experiences since joining the program, expressing gratitude for the transformative journey facilitated by the Jesuit Urumuri Centre. Cleophas Manirakiza, a member of the 3rd cohort, emphasized the tremendous progress made thanks to the center’s support and guidance. Reflecting on their journey, Cleophas highlighted the newfound knowledge and skills acquired, empowering them to succeed in the competitive marketplace and make a positive impact on their communities:

“The Jesuit Urumuri Centre is a place where young people can learn a lot and become better at thinking and doing things. As a member of cohort three, I,  have been privileged to partake in this transformative journey. On the auspicious occasion of our final presentation, I stand in awe of the remarkable progress we’ve made, thanks in large part to the unwavering support and guidance of the center and its dedicated staff. I want to thank the Centre and its staff because they’ve helped us learn a ton about starting businesses. When we began, we didn’t know anything about planning projects, but now we’re much better. Today, we stand as capable individuals, equipped not only with theoretical knowledge but also with the practical skills necessary to thrive in the competitive marketplace. Indeed, our heartfelt gratitude extends to the Jesuit Urumuri Centre and its esteemed faculty for their instrumental role in fostering our intellectual growth and professional development. Their commitment to excellence has not only empowered us as individuals but has also enriched our collective capacity to effect positive change in our communities. As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, we do so with confidence and optimism, knowing that the foundation laid by the Jesuit Urumuri Center will serve as a beacon guiding us towards continued success and fulfillment. As we are ready to start our own businesses, we want to help our communities by giving people jobs. By setting up our ventures, we’ll not only create work opportunities but also help the local economy grow. Our goal is to make a positive impact by providing jobs and opportunities for others, just like the Jesuit Urumuri Center has taught us. We’re excited to make a difference and help our society thrive.” Cleophas Manirakiza


Solomon Kporon, a Nigerian youth, joins his peers in expressing gratitude for the transformative training received. Through immersive learning and mentorship, Solomon gained essential entrepreneurial skills and a commitment to social impact. Inspired and equipped, he’s poised to embark on his entrepreneurial journey with confidence, ready to create opportunities and contribute to his community’s growth. He acknowledges the invaluable support of program facilitators, shaping his path towards a future filled with optimism and determination.

“I’m truly grateful to Jesuit Urumuri Centre for the wonderful opportunities and growth I’ve experienced over the past six months. This journey has been remarkable, teaching me the importance of teamwork and collaboration while boosting my confidence. A big thank you to  the entire team for their unwavering support and commitment to our development. This experience has truly made a difference in my life.” Solomon Kporon


With three cohorts successfully trained, the Centre is gearing up to welcome its 4th cohort following the graduation of the 3rd cohort.


Henriette Mushimiyimana

JUC Communications Officer.