The Startup Ecosystem of Rwanda

Rwanda has 1 city in the top 1000 and is one of Eastern Africa’s best countries for setting up a startup.


Since 2023, Rwanda lost 11 spots in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index, having now positioned itself as 95th worldwide.



Regional Ranking

In Eastern Africa

Global Ranking



Startup Ecosystem Overview

Free Rwanda Banner photo and picture
Rwanda offers an inspiring example of a country that was on the brink of failure, and has revived to become one of the most successful and organized economies in Africa. The next phase of developing a leading regional and global ecosystem will not be easy. This is especially true due to the country’s relatively low population in comparison to many of its African counterparts, which makes it imperative for its founders to focus on the global market.

The government is well aware of the importance of startups to the future of the local economy, and has established one of the most independent and strategically thoughtful efforts to do so in Africa using several key support programs. For instance, investor and entrepreneur visas for IT-related activities have made Rwanda an attractive relocation option for entrepreneurs in the region. Another initiative to improve tech talent is the Smart Rwanda 2020 Master Plan, which is set to increase the number of digitally skilled workers. Thanks to the Rwanda Development Board’s initiatives, the country can offer business support in areas such as financial incentives for national and international investors and a procedure to register a business within a day. In the near future, the ecosystem will become even more attractive for startups.

The Rwandan startup scene attracts the attention of the private sector and the international community as well. For example, the Norrsken Foundation opened an entrepreneurship hub in Kigali, while Co-Creation Hub partnered with Google and the Mojaloop foundation to launch the Fintech Innovation Project. Other active stakeholders in the ecosystem include Impact Hub Kigali, KLab, and 250Startups. The Kigali Innovation City (KIC) project secured support from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), and the Rwanda Innovation Fund opened its offices in Kigali. It’s no wonder the country managed to deliver several startup successes, including CarIsoko, Zipline International, Awesomity Lab, IsokoNow, and Yapili. However, Rwanda still has major challenges, like developing its infrastructure and setting up VCs and other funding options to become a regional hub.


Rwanda Top Startup Industries

Fintech icon
#70 worldwide

12 startups

Software & Data icon
Software & Data
#84 worldwide

7 startups

Healthtech icon
6 startups

6 startups

Ecosystem HealthCheck

Rwanda Ecosystem Health Check

The health check tables allow you to look at the performance Rwanda has in each of the parameters that are part of StartupBlink's ranking algorithm. There are five tables, corresponding to the three subscores, the subscore analysis and industry ana...

  • Overperformance
  • Performance equal to global ranking
  • Underperformance
ParameterParameter Global rankParameter rank change since 2022ResultContribution to total scoreRank gain / loss due to parameter
Total Score95-110.438100%0
Quantity Score8910.18542.1%0
Sample size of startups7684326.43%2
Sample size of accelerators89-97-1423.69%0
Sample size of coworking spaces104-105-399.96%0
Community Score97N/A0.0092.03%0


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The Startup Ecosystem in Rwanda

In 2023, Rwanda register a rise in Fintech startups. Some of the most notable success stories in this industry are those of , Exuus.

Global Rank

Rwanda is ranked within the top 100 startup ecosystems globally.

Top Industries

Rwanda’s startup scene is best represented in Fintech, Software & Data, and in and Healthtech.

Top Cities for Startups in Rwanda - Ranked by StartupBlink
StartupBlink ranks the startup ecosystems of 100 countries and 1,000 cities. Download our latest Global Startup Ecosystem Report.
2023 National Rank & Change ▲
2023 National Rank & Change City
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Global Rank & ChangeTotal Score
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Quantity Score
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Notable Startups in Rwanda
Exuus startup icon
SmartAfrica startup icon
Babyl Rwanda startup icon
Babyl Rwanda


Successful Fintech startups in Rwanda
Exuus startup icon
SPENN startup icon

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