Nucleus Approach Rwanda

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The Private Sector Federation (PSF) is the strategic national private sector actor for strengthening the private sector. It is an umbrella organization representing eight sector specific and two special interest chambers. The chambers are assisting associations within the sector with advocacy and business challenge assistance.

The Nucleus Approach may contribute to the implementation of the following pillars of the new PSF-strategy:

• system development,
• membership and development of services, 
• capacity building as well as indirectly advocacy and communication.

Nucleus is the first BDS to SMEs to generate revenues for PSF & associations through Nucleus service fees and tailor made activities.

The introduction of the Nucleus Approach is supported by GIZ. The GIZ Eco-Emploi Program is part of the priority area “Sustainable Economic Development” of the Rwandan-German Development Cooperation.

The Nucleus Approach has proven good results in many countries of Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe

Current Nucleus status in Rwanda( 44 groups in total)

  •  27 active groups with 268 members (63 women; 14 groups in Kigali, 13 outside)
  •  6 groups in initial phase with 62 members ( 20 women; 1 group in Kigali, 5 groups outside)
  •  11 groups in set up phase
  •  139 activities and 14 trainings realized in active groups in a period of 2 years.
  •  Working in Kigali, Rubavu, Musanze, Huye and Muhanga

Key Actors and their Roles in the Nucleus Approach in Rwanda

The groups consist of business people from the same sector. They come together to identify problems, discuss them and jointly find a solution with support of a counselor. For this service, they contribute with a monthly fee paid to the Association.

If the solution requires additional financing, the group collectively puts funds together. If it is in the overarching interest of PSF to develop (and disseminate) such a solution, a cost-sharing with PSF is possible.

The group exists as long as its members are interested – normally over long time. It is possible to enter or leave the group, but the number of active members should stay between 10 and 18


The Association plays a vital role in providing the technical framework of the Nucleus (internal or external venues for meetings of the group, communication support, contact point for the counselor). It promotes the Nucleus approach among its members and signs the minutes of the group meetings. The association has to collect the fees of the group members, of which a major share will be forwarded to PSF to cover the costs of the whole process and the salaries of the counselors. It is advisable to establish many groups within a sector, which further enhances the attractiveness of the Association. Over time, the Association might take over additional responsibilities in the process. The Annex provides a short list of duties of the Association.
The participating Associations are also member in the Governance Committee


The Chambers are an umbrella organisation to the Associations. They are participating in the Governance Committee of the Nucleus Approach. Depending on agreed roles, the Chambers can provide facilities and support to the associations for the realization of the Nucleus groups. In the current setting, they do neither contribute nor benefit financially from the approach.