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Kigali’s SMEs will emerge from the lock-down smaller and weaker. Support is required to help them recapitalise, retool and restart.

On March 22, 2020 Rwanda was put under effective lock-down with all but essential businesses and services ordered to close and workers to stay at home. There is no doubt that such unprecedented action in response to the Covid-19 pandemic would have an immediate and negative impact on the business landscape, potentially transforming it for good.

To understand the effect of the lock-down on businesses and what – if any – mechanisms were put in place to adjust, Vanguard Economics launched a limited snapshot survey1 of formal SMEs in Kigali on March 30, 2020.