In 2014, as the public transport sector was taking shape in the country, Different Express Ltd, identified an opportunity and went in for it.
The firm secured routes plying Kigali-Gicumbi, Kigali-Gatuna and Gicumbi-Musanze. At the time, the company had only 6 buses.
Over time, the public transport company was required to increase its fleet size to 20 buses, as a requirement by the regulator.
They then approached their financial partner, Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR Plc) which had been working with them since their establishment.
According to the report by Collins Mwal of the New times seen by NCMP, Alphonse Rusibana, the Managing Director of Different Express said that they worked with BPR to increase their fleet size to meet the requirements.
This is one of the developments that has characterized the relationship between BPR and the public transport company.
“Since we began working, we have always been working with BPR. It has been very smooth. They take time to understand your ideas, advise you and work with you,” Rusibana said.
Over time, Rusibana said that the relationship and partnership have enabled them to grow their fleet size to over 30 buses and at the same time replace the old ones.
The firm has also been able to provide employment for over 50 people.
“BPR worked with us to increase our fleet size to meet the requirements. Over time, they have worked with us to replace the old ones. We now have been able to acquire over 30 buses and have been able to employ over 50 people,” he said.
The financing framework has enabled the firm to respond to the growing demands of public transport in the routes they ply as well continuously adding value to the sector.
By their experience, Rusibana said that the bank has supported their business growth and expansion over the years.
The firm is one of many local enterprises that have worked with BPR in recent years to expand their asset base, expand operations as well as providing capital for growth.
The bank has financed the expansion and growth of multiple sectors including agribusiness and education among others.
For instance, in the agribusiness sector, Karongi and Muganza Tea Factories have also been able to grow and expand to cover over 500ha of tea plantation, installed energy, constructed roads to allow for the movement of tea as well as create over 1,000 direct jobs.
Two major higher learning institutions University of Tourism, Technology and BusinessStudies (UTB) and African Leadership University (ALU) have set up new campuses financed by BPR Plc.
The bank has long-term financing facilities which they say is flexible to project demands, needs and contexts.
The bank also has facilities such as asset financing to enable and facilitate established Small and Medium Enterprises as well as corporate firms seeking moveable assets (machinery, vehicles, equipment, etc.) for commercial use and in order to expand their businesses.