June 13 2019

Swedish entrepreneurship hub Norrsken announces entry into Rwandan market

Source: The New Times

Swedish entrepreneurship hub Norrsken has announced its entry into the Rwandan market, in a move expected to boost the country’s entrepreneurship ambitions.

The hub, which houses 340 entrepreneurs and 120 companies in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, will open its first hub in Africa-Kigali, in an announcement, which was made yesterday, by the government and Norrsken.

The Kigali hub is Norrsken’s second global hub after its Stockholm hub and is expected to boost Rwanda’s vision to become a regional entrepreneurship and innovation hub.

Announcing the entry of Norrsken into Rwanda, the Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Chief Investment Officer Guy Baron, welcomed the entry of Norrsken into the Rwandan market, saying that it will go a long way in boosting entrepreneurship and innovation in Rwanda.

Norrsken’s influence cuts across all sectors of the economy –from Healthcare, Education, Finance, Food and Agriculture and Environment, with a footprint in Sweden and Britain.

“Rwanda to us is the natural gateway to the fast-growing markets and entrepreneurs of East and Central Africa”, said Norrsken CEO Erik Engellau-Nilsso

Funda Sezgi, Chief Operations Officer, Norrsken, said that coming to Kigali is part of their 10 year plan where they want to have existence in 25 markets. They chose Rwanda as their second market because of its strategic location.

Sezgi said Norrsken chose Kigali as its hub, because of Rwanda’s “strong infrastructure,  great connectivity, high economic growth and ease of doing business.”

Sezgi also noted that their target is to attract and integrate ideas, talents and innovations across the region by creating an enabling and favorable environment for the entrepreneurs to development, prototype and scale their solutions.

Ingabire welcomed and thanked Norrsken for believing in the country’s vision of establishing its self as both a regional and continental entrepreneurship and innovation hub.

“We are grateful for the trust you have showed, and for you being here is a sober remainder that the country is on course of becoming a pan-African entrepreneurship and innovation creating solutions not only for Rwanda but the entire continent”, she said.

Baron said that the hub is going to work as a catalyst for the local innovators to scale up their business based on the enabling environment it is going to create.

According to Eric Ljunggren, Global Head of Communication and Marketing, Norrsken hub, has acquired Ecole Belge in Kigali where they'll construct the new Norrsken complex.

Norrsken was founded by Niklas Adalberth in 2016. Norrsken’s portfolio consists of Swedish and British companies, several of them with operations in Africa. Norrsken aims to scale this with the opening of Norrsken Kigali and invest directly in African companies, it said.