The objective of this incubator, the company notes, is to develop innovative and scalable businesses in which Millicom will ultimately take an equity stake. The so-called think incubator will seek out high-potential entrepreneurs for which it will provide seed financing, structured training and coaching programmes.
Commenting on the launch, CEO of Millicom, Hans-Holger Albrecht, said, “Rwanda is a great place to do business. We know it has some extraordinary local talent whose skills and ingenuity we want to support. We are looking forward to driving the digital revolution with talented youth in all our Tigo operations in Africa.”
Moreover, selected entrepreneurs will also have access to Tigo’s technical resources for product testing and trials and support in accessing outside investors and customers. This would be a massive gain for any entrepreneur as Tigo has potential access to over 50-million current customers.
Hailing from Sweden, Milicom is dedicated to providing and promoting digital lifestyle services in Latin America and Africa with a general focus on mobile technology. The company have been active across more than 15 countries around the world and has last year generated revenue of US$5.16-billion.
Rwanda is increasingly establishing itself as a leading ICT player on the continent. The World Bank suggests that foreign direct investments into Rwanda jumped almost 15-fold between 2005 and 2009, from US$8-million to US$118.7-million. One popular example of the country’s advancement was the launch of the world’s first cross-border mobile money transfer service. This service has integrated currency conversion as well as Wi-Fi and mobile payment support on local bus services in Kigali.