Applications for The 2021 Seed Transformation Program are Open

Stanford Seed partners under their Seed Transformation Program (STP) support entrepreneurs in emerging markets to build thriving enterprises that transform lives. This is a year-long, online part-time intensive leadership program for CEOs/founders of established businesses. The program offers CEOs and their teams skills and tools to drive growth and innovation in their companies. Participants are also challenged to refine their strategy and value proposition and to then set a course for scalable growth and impact.


How will the successful applicants benefit?

Successful applicants will work virtually in small, facilitated peer groups called Leadership Labs. Here they will share experiences, resources and ideas. After completing the program, they earn a certificate of completion from Stanford GSB Executive Education. Other benefits will include;

  • Gaining essential business and leadership skills
  • Bringing up to five senior managers on this transformation journey
  • Joining the Seed Transformation Network
  • Access to seasoned executives as pro bono project consultants
  • Availability of Stanford student interns to work with the companies


Who is eligible to Apply?

Applicants must:

  1. Be a CEO or founder of a company or market-driven social enterprise
  2. Have registered business in Africa
  3. Lead a company with a strong value proposition and potential to grow
  4. Have an annual revenue between US $300,000 and US $15 million
  5. Have a management team of at least two people in addition to the CEO or founder


Educational Requirements

There are no specific educational requirements.

Timeline: Sep 2021 – Oct 2022

Fees: US $5,000 (COVID-19 Discounted Price)

Program Schedule

Part 1 | Assess Your Foundations

Part 2 | Stress-Test Your Finances and Operations

Part 3 | Identify Your Growth Opportunities and Strategy

Part 4 | Build Your Growth Plan

Deadline for application: 15 April 2021

Application Process

Admission to the Seed Transformation Program is very competitive. An admissions committee will assess all completed applications based on the program’s criteria for admission. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so we recommend you apply early.

How to Apply

You must fill out and submit the application online.

The application form is available here.

For details please contact:

Program Manager East Africa on; +254 (0) 72 859 4042 or


Jessica Kyeyune, National Content Specialist at UNOC, offers guidance to SMEs on participating in the Oil and Gas Value Chain.

Jessica Kyeyune, National Content Specialist at UNOC, offers guidance to SMEs on participating in the Oil and Gas Value Chain. 

Charity Namala: Good morning, Jessica. Could you tell us about yourself and what you do? 

Jessica Kyeyune:  My name is Jessica Kyeyune. I am the National Content Specialist at the Ugandan National Oil Company (UNOC). The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) is mandated to manage Uganda’s commercial aspects of petroleum activities and its participating interests in the petroleum agreements. The UNOC roles are specifically to:

  1. Develop in-depth local expertise in the Oil and Gas subsector.
  2. Promote and participate in joint venture initiatives in the Oil and Gas subsector.
  3. Develop the capacity of Ugandan citizens and enterprises in the Oil and Gas subsector.
  4. Champion initiatives to support community contractors’ growth and enable them to provide services and materials to the Oil and Gas industry.

UNOC also ensures value is gained across the value chain segments from exploration, production, export pipeline and refinery.


Charity Namala: What is the current landscape of the Oil and Gas Value Chain in the country?

Jessica Kyeyune:  The Oil and Gas Value Chain is phased in nature, and at the moment, the industry is awaiting the Final Investment Decision (FID).

The value chain projects include exploration, production, export pipeline, refinery, refined products storage terminal and an industrial park. The first oil projects’ exploration was completed, and next will be the development and production phase, which can only begin after the FID is made. The power to announce FID is vested in the Minister of Energy & Mineral Development. The FID will be announced after the joint-venture partners sanction the commercial viability of the first-oil projects.

After the FID announcement, the field development stage will commence, and the country will see its first oil within a 3 to 4 year period. The development phase is the most resource-intensive but shortest stage of all and presents enormous SMEs’ opportunities to tap into. Given its nature, SMEs need to prepare and plan for short term financing and investments.

The construction of the central processing facilities and the related infrastructure and the export pipeline from Hoima to Tanga Port, Tanzania, provides SMEs with opportunities. They will deliver construction materials, manpower, logistics services, food, hotel accommodation and other services. It is important to note that although the country is moving into the development phase, more oil exploration is still ongoing. This will ensure continuity of using the already developed sector infrastructure to ensure commercial viability.


Charity Namala: What kinds of SMEs are participating in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Jessica Kyeyune: There are various SMEs engaged in contracts across the Oil and Gas Value Chain.

We have to remember that for SMEs to benefit from the sector, they do not necessarily have to be directly involved in the Oil and Gas Value Chain. Today, 16 sectors were ring-fenced for Ugandan companies. These are (a) Transportation, (b) Security, (c) Foods and beverages, (d) Hotel accommodation and catering, (e) Human resource management, (f) Office supplies, (g) Fuel supply, (h) Land surveying, (i) Clearing and forwarding. (j) Crane hire, (k) Locally available construction materials, (l) Civil works, (m) Supply of locally available drilling and production materials, (n) Environment studies and impact assessment, (o) Communications and information technology services, (p) Waste management, where possible. These are sectors directly linked to the Oil and Gas Value Chain, but SMEs still can get indirect and induced work along the chain like Mobile Money services, hairdressing, recreation services, and many more.

I can give you an example of this kind of participation. Suppose you own a hair salon, and you are strategically located in or near the Oil and Gas region. Many people working in the Oil and Gas sector will come for a haircut or hairdressing. When a customer pays for the haircut, the salon operator pays her suppliers, employees, landlord, etc. The person who transports the Oil and Gas field workers to the salon equally benefits from the value chain.

I have another example of catering and food supply in the oil camps. A farmer growing tomatoes will indirectly benefit from the Oil and Gas sector by supplying the tomatoes to SMEs that offer catering services directly to the oil companies. This shows the multiplier effect of the Oil and Gas sector for SMEs via indirect and induced participation.

Charity Namala: How is UNOC supporting SMEs to participate in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Jessica Kyeyune: UNOC is implementing the National Content Regulations, which have ring-fenced specific goods and services for SMEs, among other things.  

National Content Regulations give first priority for Ugandan to be contracted for all the Oil & Gas contracts, provided that they have the technical capacity, competence and financing to carry out the contract. In case the Ugandan SMEs cannot participate in the first option, the second option is for a Ugandan company to enter into a joint venture with another company or an international company to provide the service. If the joint venture option fails, then the last option is for the international company to supply the required goods and services on its own.   

National Content Regulations also require the international companies to subcontract all work within a contract that can be done by Uganda companies to Ugandan companies. They also have to transfer knowledge to these SMEs to deliver well on the contracts subcontracted. The international companies conduct quarterly supplier development workshops to support SMEs in understanding the opportunities available and bridge any gaps in required standards. Unfortunately, there is always a low turn up of invited suppliers, but those who attend the workshops have benefited. For example, One SME had never received any contract within the Oil and Gas sector. After attending a seminar held in Hoima on how to enter into partnerships and joint ventures, the company implemented the acquired knowledge. Now, they have a partnership supplying sand to the road construction companies. 

UNOC is set to work with the Petroleum Authority of Uganda to facilitate SMEs business linkages to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline through skills upgrades with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB). We also share a lot of information on our website to guide prequalified suppliers on fulfilling the contracts effectively. 


Charity Namala: What challenges do SMEs participating in the Oil and Gas Value Chain face? 

Jessica Kyeyune: There are several challenges, but the most significant challenge SMEs face is liquidity. 

Most Oil and Gas contracts require significant capital expenditure, and many Ugandan companies may not have the capacity to take them on. To perform the contract, SMEs need some liquidity, which they do not usually have and sometimes cannot quickly get a loan because they lack relationships with their bankers.

The next challenge is related to the “how” of doing business. You find that many people get into a business without the required skills, which compromises business standards. For instance, SMEs could sell food but not follow the storage standards and do not possess the necessary permits for the staff and premises. As a result, they will not secure additional contracts in the sector. 

The sector has many stringent demands as participation calls for additional requirements to supply some goods and services. In the transportation of goods in the Oil and Gas sector, specific gadgets and technologies are required for tracking the goods. This technology ensures that the vehicles being used are in good condition and allow for real-time transportation updates. Many SMEs don’t usually have the technology and expertise required for this.


Charity Namala: What can be done to increase the level of SME participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Jessica Kyeyune: A lot of effort is required to increase SME participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain. 

Let me start with what the Stanbic Business Incubator is doing to build SME capacity and share sector opportunities. UNOC has also partnered with the Incubator to provide additional training for SMEs on up-skilling and upgrading to meet the required standards. This is critical if we want to see SMEs participating.

Secondly, SMEs need financing. The government plans to put an Oil and Gas fund in place to finance the sector contracts’ performance will increase participation. The fund will provide low-interest loans to SMEs for ease of entry in sector activities. SMEs also need to develop good working relationships with their bankers and maintain the necessary financial records to access the required financing. 

Information sharing is also critical for participation. Information is only shared with SMEs registered on the National Supplier Database (NSD). Therefore, SMEs are advised to register on the National Supplier Database to access this information. We also believe several players can support the dissemination of information. Such players include banks, certification bodies, and other private sector players. Apart from receiving information, SMEs need to aggressively search for knowledge and ensure that they are responsive to available opportunities. Most contracts are advertised in the newspapers, yet SMEs ignore reading newspapers, thus missing out on a chance for participation. 

SMEs need to become Information Technology (IT) savvy to search and send information online since many bidding processes and training are happening online. The Covid-19 pandemic effects have shown us that you will lose out if you do not have an IT savvy mindset. Reports indicate that businesses that have embraced IT have actually thrived during this Covid-19 period. These businesses are also likely to benefit significantly in the Oil and Gas Value Chain. 

Lastly, all companies that want to be contracted and subcontracted for the Oil & Gas contracts must be registered on the National Supplier Database of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU). The National Content Regulations state that companies not registered on the NSD shall not be awarded contracts within the Oil & Gas Sector. I encourage SMEs to register online to the NSD for free by logging onto the PAU website to participate as contractors and subcontractors for Oil & Gas contracts.


Moses Kisembo of Shiloh Farms shares how his agriculture business benefits from the Oil and Gas Value Chain.

The Covid-19 Business Info Hub spoke with Stanbic Business Incubator alumni Moses Kisembo of Shiloh Farms to learn how his agriculture and catering business benefits from the growing Oil and Gas Value Chain.

Charity NamalaGood Afternoon Moses, could you tell us about yourself and what you do? 

Moses Kisembo: Thank you, my name is Moses Kisembo. I work with Shiloh Farms Uganda Ltd., an agribusiness company.

We are engaged in developing agriculture projects, mechanizing on-farm activities, agriculture supplies and training. Our products include; agriculture plans, farm establishment services, mechanization services, and training in agriculture standards and compliance. We also bulk high-quality agriculture produce and offer catering services. 

We deliver these services to individuals engaged in farming and those who would like to invest in agriculture but are constrained by expertise and time. We also work with communities through Government projects like the Agriculture Cluster Development Project of the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).


Charity Namala: What is your level of participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Moses Kisembo: Our participation is in the area of food production, supply and delivery. 

We know that workers in the Oil and Gas industry will need to feed every day. The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) indicates that over 160,000 people will work in the oil fields, and these will be followed by over 1,000,000 people. All these people will need to feed. And unlike what we are used to in this country, the food that these people will eat must meet specific standards. 

Therefore, as a company and as host communities in the oil region, we have a crucial role in producing the required food, supplying it following the standards needed, and then delivering it as catering companies in a compliant way.

Together with other partner companies, we are preparing ourselves to meet the anticipated growth in the market. Preparations include; building internal capabilities like hiring the appropriate human resource, skilling in quality, health and safety standards, food safety standards, sustainable production systems and compliance issues. We have also engaged farmers within communities to forge collaborations since it is impossible to do this alone. We advise them on what to grow and how to grow it, focusing on consistency in quality, quantity and supply that meet the required standards. For example, if one is interested in supplying eggs. They need knowledge of the number of birds necessary to consistently produce a certain number of eggs per day. They also need a feeding plan that will enable them to deliver quality and consistency. We support the farmers in this planning and execution process, hoping that some will be our future suppliers. 


Charity Namala: What opportunities does the Oil and Gas Value Chain present for SMEs?  

Moses Kisembo:  There are several opportunities for SMEs, especially in the agriculture and food space.

First, it is essential to note that the Government has a ring-fenced supply of food items to Ugandan companies. The caveat is that “if the Ugandan companies can meet the requirements for quality, volumes and consistency”. If they can’t meet those, then suppliers of food to oil companies will import. Imagine importing beans, maize flour, rice, tomatoes and onions to Uganda. The market is there, the need is there, and Uganda has the potential. But these Oil and Gas workers are not going to eat potential. They need food. So we must organize ourselves and execute while the opportunity is still open to us. 

Opportunities for SMEs cut across the value chain from food production, processing and delivery. There are opportunities for input suppliers, extension services providers, farm services providers, producers of crops and livestock. Mechanization services are critical because they offer efficient and cost-effective options for farmers. It is cheaper to hire efficient weed and pest management services than to buy spray equipment and accompanying specialized labour, given the fact that a farmer will use them only a few times in the year. I advise young people to get organized and offer spraying, weed management, planting and harvesting services to farmers.  

Other opportunities include storage, handling, transportation, processing, packaging, and delivery like catering. SMEs can also offer human resources, accounting, and financial management services to support agribusinesses. When businesses use these outsourced services, they can reduce their overhead costs while accessing high-quality professional assistance. 


Charity Namala: How is your company positioned to take up the available opportunities? 

Moses Kisembo:  We are making preparations, and these started some years ago when we joined the Stanbic Business Incubator program. 

Today, we are implementing activities based on the capabilities we acquired and partnerships established during the program. For example, I had always wanted to offer catering services, but I had no clue how to start. During the incubator training, we met with some colleagues who were already in the catering business. They helped us start our own catering business. Some have helped us in operation safety and health. The catering service is growing, and we are ready to offer the service when Oil and Gas production activities start.

Secondly, we partner with the Stanbic Business Incubator program to offer training to other SMEs in standards and compliance. We are also building more partnerships to enable us to improve our capabilities. For example, we approached one of the leading financial consulting firms – Acclaim Africa, to help us with governance issues. Despite the delays brought on by Covid19, we expect to soon formalize a relationship and benefit from the great products they have tailored for SMEs. 

Through participation in events, accessing bulletins and staying close to organizations like the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) and the international oil companies, to keep abreast with developments in the sector. We are listed on the national supplier database compiled by PAU, which offers many networking opportunities.  

We are working on obtaining international certifications, and in the long run, qualifying to offer auditing services for international standards in food safety. We are also proactively raising awareness in various fora about the looming opportunities and what it will take to access them. These activities have positioned the company to embrace the opportunities available in the sector.


Charity Namala: What challenges are SMEs facing to participate in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Moses Kisembo: The major challenge SMEs face is building internal capabilities and capacity to meaningfully participate in this space.

It requires awareness and adequate resources to identify the gaps and implement measures to resolve them. Secondly, SMEs are used to working on their own, and because they are small, they are unable to take on assignments of such a scale as presented in the Oil and Gas sector. The solution is to collaborate and form joint ventures, which is relatively new in Uganda.

When it comes to acquiring international certifications and going through the process before certification, management appreciation and commitment of resources are required. SMEs need to realize this – which the Oil and Gas industry is like an express-way where only the qualified are allowed to drive. 


Charity Namala: What can be done to increase the SMEs’ participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain?


Moses Kisembo: Government has put in place the necessary policies and enabling environment for SMEs to meaningfully participate in the Oil and Gas space. 

What needs to be done is to increase awareness and catalyze platforms and fora for SME engagement. This will enable them to identify the opportunities and prepare for them. The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), international oil companies and other stakeholders should continue to organize periodic dialogues and publications that inform SMEs about the sector developments. This information is critical for SMEs to make informed business decisions. 

SMEs need to understand that they cannot do it alone. They need strategic alliances, partnerships, and joint ventures to help them participate more meaningfully in the Oil and Gas sector. 

Finally, we hope that with the existing enabling environment, preparation, resources – if available, and strong partnerships in place, SMEs’ participation will be evident across the different Oil and Gas Value Chain segments. 

Call for SMEs to Join Digital Marketing Launchpad Program

Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD), in partnership with Africa118, are inviting SMEs to apply for the Digital Launchpad program. The program aims to equip and support African SMEs with a comprehensive package of digital tools and expertise to enhance their competitiveness and access global markets.

What are the program benefits?

Over 3,000 SMEs from participating countries are set to benefit from the program, and they will have access to the following:

  • Financial literacy training
  • Digital marketing training
  • Investment readiness and venture building training
  • Digital marketing campaign
  • Professional website
  • E-commerce + payment integration
  • Access to financing
  • Accelerator program

Who is eligible to apply?

Enterprises that meet the following criteria qualify to join the program;

  • A business entity registered in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana.
  • The business has less than 50 employees.
  • The company has limited digital marketing expertise.
  • SME agrees to be available for the scheduled training, coaching, acceleration, and mentorship training
  • SME agrees to contribute 50% of the cost of services offered in year 2 (about $200) and to shoulder 100% cost of the services provided in year 3 (about $400).
  • SME agree to be in the program for the entirety of the program duration (3 years: 2021- 2023).

Women-led/owned and Youth-led/owned businesses will be prioritized.

How to join the program

  • Eligible enterprise are required to complete and submit an application
  • Application form available HERE

For details about the program, Call: +254 729 905 156


Visit the website:



Daniel Kaggwa of Conexus Oil and Gas explains how partnerships can aid SME participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain

Charity Namala: Good Morning Daniel, tell us about yourself and the company you work with. 

Daniel Kaggwa: Thank you for hosting me. I am Daniel Kaggwa, the Managing Director with Conexus Oil and Gas. Conexus Oil and Gas is a local Ugandan company providing quality-driven services across the Oil and Gas Value Chain. Our core work areas are machine shop services such as; fabrication and precision welding.

We offer testing and certification laboratory services like testing materials, chemicals, equipment, welds and others. We are also undertaking training and certification services in the Oil and Gas sector.

Whilst we are a local company, we have established several partnerships with international companies. For example, we partner with OGINS in India and other global players in Dubai and Italy. The partnerships’ objective is to tap from these players’ experience and knowledge to develop local content in Uganda’s Oil and Gas Value Chain.

Charity Namala: What is the landscape of the Oil and Gas sector in Uganda? 

Daniel Kaggwa: The Oil and Gas sector has three major operational phases.

The exploration phase, which we went through before 2004, led to discovering the oil reserves, followed by the development phase, which is about putting in place the necessary infrastructure to support the third phase of production. When drilling the oil out of the ground starts, the required infrastructure to transport and processes should already be in place. The phases are dependent on each other.

The sector has moved from the exploration to the development phase. This is evident in Hoima District, with a lot of infrastructure development taking place. Contracting discussions with companies are ongoing for further development from the oil fields – upstream to the crude oil pipeline-midstream and the refinery. Many research studies have been done on the upstream and midstream segments. The results will inform the Final Investment Decision (FID).

The Final Investment Decision (FID) is set to happen when the international oil companies and government confirm the project viability and approve capital investment for operations. The FID was earlier anticipated in 2020; however, this did not happen. The significant delays on the FID were due to several reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic; however, we speculate that the decision will be reached by the end of April 2021 to kick off the several activities. The total expected investment is USD 20 billion in projects split into the production, crude oil pipeline and the refinery.

Charity Namala: What is the nature of SMEs participating in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Daniel Kaggwa: The scope of SMEs in the Oil and Gas Value Chain is wide.

There is room for any SME to take part in the Oil and Gas Value Chain. Participation can be in three areas: specialist oil and gas, specialist (across the sectors), and non-specialist players. The local SMEs have mainly engaged in the non-specialist space. The National Oil and Gas policy encourages SME participation in value chains by incentivizing sector resources and ring-fencing local firms’ opportunities.

Some funds are paid to local SMEs dealing with goods and services to fuel participation in different spaces. Currently, over 1,000 SMEs have provided services across the chain. Some of the services include logistics, civil works, environmental consulting services, catering and hotel accommodation, cleaning and fumigation services, transportation, communication, medical services and manpower/ recruitment services.

Charity Namala: How is your company supporting SMEs to explore the available opportunities? 

Daniel Kaggwa:  We support SMEs through capacity building and knowledge sharing.

We have partnered with the Stanbic Incubator and will soon roll out a programme for 2021 to provide SMEs training, mentoring and awareness workshops. The programme will equip SMEs with the necessary knowledge about the sector. Apart from classroom training, we provide hands-on training through placements for skills acquisition. Our SMEs’ critical training areas are business management, health and safety, and environmental standards. We are also linking the SMEs with other international firms for joint ventures and service provision.

We have established a critical partnership with the Mangala Oil field project in India for knowledge and information sharing. Mangala presents a similar structure and characteristics to that of Uganda. Both countries have waxy and heavy crude oil transported in a heated or insulated heating pipeline. The Mangala pipeline development of 200km is currently the longest heated pipeline globally. Once the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) of 1400 kilometre is completed, it will be the longest heated pipeline. Such information is critical to guide the SMEs on how to engage in the value chain.

Charity Namala:  What policies and regulations exist in the Oil and Gas Value Chain?

Daniel Kaggwa:  Uganda has a robust legal framework to guide operations in the Oil and Gas sector.

We have the Draft National Content Policy and The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act 2013. The regulations are clear and support local participation, with 16 areas ring-fenced for Ugandans to provide goods and services.

These areas include; Transportation, Security, Foods and beverages, Hotel accommodation and catering, Human resource management, Office supplies, Fuel supply, Land surveying, Clearing and forwarding, Crane hire, Locally available construction materials, Civil works, Supply of locally available drilling and production materials, Environment studies and impact assessment, Communications and information technology services.

Similarly, the policies provide for production sharing agreements through joint venture partnerships with international oil companies. This allows local SMEs to participate in spaces where they would not have had the capacity to deploy independently. The policies also advocate for oil companies to invest in SMEs training and development for compliance.

Charity Namala: What can be done to increase SMEs’ participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Daniel Kaggwa: To increase SMEs participation, we need to look at the challenges they are going to encounter.

While we identified training and accreditation as critical areas of participation, finances are needed for implementation. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a fund to support national content development through SME participation. SMEs need to understand contractual obligations and get the appropriate financing to execute the contracts. We are taking steps to work with the SMEs to understand the sector, interpret the contracts, and source appropriate funds.

Participation can be increased by establishing an industry enhancement center to support SMEs through private and government partnerships. SMEs can also embrace joint ventures with international companies that have experience and knowledge in the industry. This will facilitate the transfer of knowledge to the local SMEs, thus empowering them to participate in the value chain’s different stages.

Second Call for the Uganda Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator

The Uganda Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator (UGEFA) has launched its second call for applications. The Accelerator targets green Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) looking to grow and scale their businesses.

The Accelerator supports SMEs in customized business development for over 6 months. Enterprises get a chance to participate in interactive workshops, peer-to-peer learning and network with like-minded entrepreneurs. They also have access to practical tools to manage business growth.

How will the successful SMEs benefit?

By participating in the programme, SMEs will get the following benefits;

  • Loan facilitation within UGEFA debt finance pipeline offered through our partner banks
  • Get a discounted loan of between UGX 36,700,000 – 367,000,000 to support investment needs
  • Loan repayment  support of 1/3 of the total loan amount with UGEFA grant contribution
  • Showcase their enterprises during high-level events and ongoing ecosystem building activities


Who is eligible to Apply?

The programme is open to enterprises who are:

  • Registered as a private company or registered partnership;
  • Engaged in a green sector specifically, Clean Energy, Green Manufacturing, Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Tourism or Waste Management;
  • Operational for more than 2 years;
  • Generating revenue with at least 10,000 USD turnover in the previous year; and
  • In possession of financial records

Register here for UGEFA  and submit your complete application. 

Application Deadline: 30th April 2021. 

For details: sign up for an Information Session at or email

Davidson Bagambagye, Director of 2Fumbe, shares how his company is planning to benefit from participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain

Davidson Bagambagye, Director of 2Fumbe, shares how his company is planning to benefit from participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain



Charity Namala: Good afternoon, Davidson. Could you tell us about yourself and what you do? 

Davidson Bagambagye:  My name is Bagambagye Davidson, and I am a Director at 2fumbe Ltd. 2Fumbe Ltd supplies assorted kitchen items for domestic and commercial use to restaurants, hotels, and homes. Today, we are participating in the Oil and Gas Value Chain because of the knowledge acquired through the Stanbic Business Incubator programme we attended in 2019/2020. The programme enabled us to identify market opportunities to expand into this sector.

Charity Namala: What is your current level of participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain?

Davidson Bagambagye:  Our current participation is in the Value Chain is still a work in progress.

With the knowledge gained during the training, we now understand the sector’s upstream, midstream, and downstream operations. We plan to participate in the downstream segment to supply goods and services given our current resources and capability by:

  1. Providing standard kitchenware that hotels and restaurants will use within the oil districts.
  2. Offering catering services to feed the people who will be working in the refineries.
  3. Partnering with another company to start fabricating stainless steel commercial kitchens and related equipment.

We are also profiling other potential partners, sensitizing them about the available opportunities, and exploring how we can benefit from them when we jointly offer services.

Charity Namala: Could you share some of the opportunities for SMEs in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Davidson Bagambagye: There are several opportunities in this value chain.

For the broader SME sector, the opportunities include supplying goods and offering services such as Human Resources, Accounting, Legal, Environmental, and Health and Safety. Apart from providing kitchen equipment, we see an opportunity to diversify and deliver Information Technology (IT) services. We plan to provide operation management systems for inventory, communication, procurement and logistics. We have experience in using systems to deliver efficient and effective operations in day-to-day company activities.  

Charity Namala: How are you positioning the company to embrace the opportunities?

Davidson Bagambagye:  We have taken several steps to prepare for these opportunities.

We are implementing the necessary policies and procedures to comply with the required international standards to get essential certifications this year. Today, we take records of all our operations and have the health and safety requirements in place. We registered with the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, and our information is shortlisted on the National Suppliers Database.

Charity Namala: What can be done to increase SMEs’ participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain? 

Davidson Bagambagye: SMEs need information and financial support to increase their participation.

At the moment, we get most of the information from third parties, and sometimes it is not credible. It would be good if the mandated organizations like the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) directly engage with SMEs to share sector updates. I also wish that we had more forums to dialogue as stakeholders, especially the private and government sectors. This information is critical for SMEs to prepare and plan resources for future activities.

Although regulations and infrastructure are available, SMEs still need financial support to supply goods and services to the Oil and Gas Value Chain. Through the Stanbic Business Incubator, SMEs have been trained on investment readiness and how to attract finance from financial institutions. However, we do not know whether our local banks can support us to execute the anticipated enormous contracts. When issues on information and finance are addressed, we shall see increased SMEs’ participation in the Oil and Gas Value Chain.

Call for the Acumen and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator

Acumen and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship are inviting social enterprises to apply for the East Africa Accelerator programme. Through a 19-week program, the Accelerator supports entrepreneurs to develop a scalable social enterprise. Participants will learn the essentials of building a business model that can achieve both social impact and profitability. Entrepreneurs will also have access to case studies from Acumen social enterprises and curriculum materials packaged from IKEA’s business knowledge.

Upon completion of individual assignments, entrepreneurs will join bi-weekly interactive Learning Labs to receive feedback from peers. The participants will also receive biweekly individualized mentorship from IKEA coaches. The program will end with a virtual Final Summit for entrepreneurs featuring workshops, networking opportunities, and the chance to pitch their ventures, receive feedback from industry leaders, and be considered for up to $25,000 in seed funding.

What will the successful applicants learn?

By participating in program sessions and reviewing practical case studies of other East African social enterprises that have successfully scaled, successful applicants will learn how to:

  • Refine and test hypotheses for developing a scalable business model.
  • Develop a robust social impact and financial strategy.
  • Best form partnerships to achieve scale.
  • Adapt lessons from IKEA case studies and mentorship.
  • Build networks with other social entrepreneurs and supporters in East Africa and beyond

Who is eligible to Apply?

The programme is available to social entrepreneurs in East Africa who:

  • Run a social enterprise (nonprofit or for-profit) based in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, or Ethiopia
  • Have proven customer demand and increasing annual revenue.
  • Manage a team equivalent to 3 full-time staff.
  • Are focused on promoting livelihoods, equality and inclusion.

Eligible entrepreneurs can apply for free here.

Application Deadline: 31st March 2021

For details about the programme, visit

Executive Coaching Opportunity for Entrepreneurs to Grow their Businesses

The Africa Executive Coaching Convention  (AECC) is offering executive coaching sessions to support entrepreneurs and their businesses. Through AECC’s online platform, organizational leaders and executive coaches share experiences, learnings, and findings from the latest research to effectively address leadership and business challenges in the African context to increase businesses’ successes.

Virtual sessions will take place on 24 March 2021 and 14 April 2021 from 13:00 to 17:00 GMT. The sessions provide a unique opportunity for C-Suite executives, entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, the development sector, and academics to connect with the executive coaching community. AECC leverages stories and case studies that inspire, motivate, and encourage participants to create extraordinary workplaces in a sustainable way.

AECC’s main objective is to create an eco-system for positive transformation through executive coaching. To achieve this objective, the sessions will focus on the following topics:

  • Workplace inclusivity
  • Strategies for effective coaching of leaders and organizations through times of disruption
  • Best practices in executive and team coaching in the African context

The detailed Executive Coaching programme is available here.

To attend, please register here for a standard price of $129 per day.

For details call: Tel: +254 759 537 845 or Email:

Unveiling Opportunities for SMEs in the Oil and Gas Value Chain

This month, the COVID-19 Business Info Hub will explore opportunities for SMEs in the Oil and Gas industry. We will feature insights from different players, including SMEs, regulators, and organizations involved in the sector. Through these interviews, we will learn about how SMEs contribute to the chain and the challenges they face. We will also highlight the different initiatives to empower SMEs to actively participate in the Oil and Gas value chain during the Covid-19 crisis.

For entrepreneurs considering to venture into the Oil and Gas industry, the end result could be lucrative. The industry presents unique opportunities that can steer sustainable economic development for businesses and the country at large. Uganda’s Oil and Gas value chain has three segments: upstream, midstream, and downstream. The upstream segment involves the exploration for extraction of petroleum crude oil and natural gas. The midstream segment involves storing, marketing and transporting petroleum crude oil, natural gas and other byproducts. While the downstream segment involves the refining of petroleum crude oil and processing of raw natural gas. Players operating along the value chain range from oil companies, natural gas producers, petrochemical firms, and power generation companies to regulatory agencies, SMEs, and household consumers. Presently, the most notable players in the sector are Total E&P Uganda, Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). Government is putting in place infrastructure for facilitating developments to support the commercialization of sector, efforts that will provide opportunities to new players to emerge in the industry.

Despite the opportunities it offers, businesses that work in the Oil and Gas industry face ongoing liability risks, especially when it comes to environmental hazards.  Regulation helps to shield businesses, employees, and the general public from these risks, just as it protects the environment from pollution. There are two key regulatory bodies in the industry. First, there is The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU). PAU monitors sector operations to ensure efficient management of petroleum resources. Second, the Uganda National Oil Company  (UNOC) has a mandate to investigate and propose new upstream, midstream, and downstream ventures for local and international investment. UNOC is also responsible for implementing the national content plan to drive local participation in the oil and gas value chain, which aims to generate local employment, investment in skills development, and greater participation by SMEs.

Are you interested in learning about the opportunities available for your business in the oil and gas value chain? Keep following The Covid-19 Business Information Hub this March to learn more about the industry and the government’s efforts to expand the sector through infrastructure and partnerships.