Are you a social entrepreneur with a vision to solve global challenges? Apply for the BeChangeMaker programme before 6 June 2022

Are you a social entrepreneur with a vision to solve global challenges? Apply for the BeChangeMaker programme before 6 June 2022

WorldSkills, an international training organization, invites applicants for the BeChangeMaker online training programme. Through the programme, participants are trained to take action on global challenges through social entrepreneurship and the power of skills development.

Successful applicants will access high-quality learning content on HP LIFE, an online learning platform for entrepreneurs, innovators, and small business owners. Additionally, participants will gain access to tools and technology for start-up acceleration, dedicated coaching and mentoring, and an opportunity to network with WorldSkills’ diverse global network of potential supporters and investors.

Interested applicants will go through three steps to complete an application:

  • Form a team of 2-5 people between the ages of 18 and 35 years who share a vision.
  • Introduce the team and share your social challenge in a one-minute video. Upload the video on Youtube as unlisted – this is to be included in your online application.
  • Submit your application. The team leader will submit the application on behalf of the team.

To submit your application for the programme, visit: BeChangeMaker Application


Stanbic Accelerator Program

Apply for the Stanbic Accelerator Program from Stanbic Business Incubator Limited before 29 March 2022

Apply for the Stanbic Accelerator Program from Stanbic Business Incubator Limited before 16 April 2022 

Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) invites applicants to the Stanbic Accelerator Program (SAP), a 2-month training provided under the Enterprise Development Program aimed at modelling and creating investment-ready SMEs in Uganda.  

SBIL operates under Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, and aims to support SMEs in Uganda through capacity building and entrepreneurial development programs. Through the SAP, participants will be offered business skills, access to finance, access to markets, sustainable business models and tools to track their business impact.  

During the program, participants will be taken through a curriculum covering the following topics: 

  • Business Modelling 
  • Financial modelling 
  • Readiness to market 
  • Pitching a business idea 
  • Relevant compliance for a business 

Interested applicants should fulfil the following criteria to apply: 

  • Be an established SME that needs a push to move to the next stage 
  • Have a business that has been operational for at least two years 
  • Have a UGX 60 million turnover 
  • Have more than 5 employees  
  • Demonstrate a willingness to pay commitment fee refundable 

To apply for the program, visit: SAP APPLICATION 

For more information, please get in touch with incubator@stanbic.com or call 0312226700. 

 


Micro Enterprise Development Program

Apply for the Micro Enterprise Development Program from Stanbic Business Incubator Limited before 16 April 2022

Apply for the Micro Enterprise Development Program from Stanbic Business Incubator Limited before 16 April 2022

Operating under Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) aims to support and nurture SMEs in Uganda to prepare them for business growth opportunities.

With an extensive expertise in running successful and practical business development programs, SBIL, invites applicants for the 2022 intake of the Micro Enterprise Development Program (Micro EDP). Micro EDP is a 2 weeks training program that aims to support micro-enterprises and offers them early-stage entrepreneurial and business management skills to help them initiate, improve and scale their businesses.

The program will be offered across Uganda and offers the opportunity to entrepreneurs to learn about the following topics:

  • Design thinking and business modelling
  • Financial literacy & bookkeeping
  • ILO Business game
  • Business Plan writing & fundraising
  • Business formalization

To be eligible for the program, participants should fulfil the following criteria:

  • Have at least two employees
  • Possess an existing scalable business idea or running a business
  • Can be a SACCO/VSLA or group

To apply, visit: MICRO EDP PROGRAM APPLICATION

For more information, please get in touch with incubator@stanbic.com or call 0312226700.


Tony Otoa

How has Covid-19 affected the Stanbic Business Incubator and How Does it Plan to Respond? Chief Executive Tony Otoa Explains

Tony Otoa

How has Covid-19 affected the Stanbic Business Incubator and How Does it Plan to Respond? Chief Executive Tony Otoa Explains

Like all businesses, the Stanbic Business Incubator (SBIL) faced a slate of new challenges and obstacles stemming from the pandemic. To understand how the Stanbic Business Incubator navigated these challenges, we sat down with Tony Otoa, SBIL’s Chief Executive. Mr. Otoa provided us with an insider’s perspective on SBIL’s pandemic experience, lessons learned, and projections for Covid-19 recovery.

Mr. Otoa explained that the pandemic afforded SBIL one major lesson: a business must remain agile and adapt to the flow of the new normal. Covid-19 upended traditional business operations, relationships, and practices. Businesses that were unable to adjust and respond to the evolving environment suffered immensely while those that were flexible and adapted practices and operations as things changed flourished. For its part, the Stanbic Business Incubator changed its program development process and how it connects with its clients.

Because of the lockdown, explained Mr. Otoa, SBIL was unable to carry out in-person training, so the team switched to online platforms to complete its mandate of supporting Uganda’s business community. Like in businesses throughout the world, transitioning online heavily impacted how SBIL delivers its services and required a shift in its approach to client relations and communications. The upshot to these challenges was an increase in the number and geographic location of people reached. Pre-pandemic, class sizes were limited to what was allowed by regional training hubs, but the online platforms allowed SBIL to reach many people through the country.

Mr. Otoa believes that SBIL’s Covid-19 recovery started long before the lockdowns were lifted. Stanbic Business Incubator remains focused on supporting businesses to drive and achieve more. Their strategy is to assist businesses in accessing finance, accessing markets, and provide tracking to better understand how to support them better. More importantly, is how this support is delivered. Mr. Otoa stresses the need to blend approaches to best support businesses in the coming period. This means combining online and in-person training to best support their clients while blending business techniques from both the pre- and post-Covid period.

SBIL expects its new chapter to encapsulate the lessons learned from this pandemic period. Namely, the need for agility as they switched to new, online platforms, the new geographic regions and audiences they were able to reach as a result of their online shift and continuing the newly blended approach to continue supporting their clients. All told, Stanbic Business Incubator expects a strong recovery for themselves and for their clients as they step forward into this new period.


Incubator Business Manager

Interested in training opportunities with the Stanbic Business Incubator? Incubator Business Manager Sheila Agaba explains upcoming offerings

Interested in training opportunities with the Stanbic Business Incubator? Incubator Business Manager Sheila Agaba highlights upcoming offerings

Incubator Business Manager

- Sheila Agaba
Business Manager, Stanbic Business Incubator

The Covid-19 Business Info Hub recently sat down with Sheila Agaba, the Stanbic Business Incubator’s Business Manager to discuss the many training opportunities on offer to small and medium enterprises and aspiring entrepreneurs.  

Ms. Agaba leads Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL)’s strategy, coordinates partnerships, and tracks SBIL’s impact. During her tenure, she has witnessed some of the pandemic’s major impacts on SBIL’s clients. She notes that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggled throughout the pandemic to access much-needed finance. Viewed as riskier investments by financial institutions, SMEs struggle to secure capital to develop their businesses. To address this challenge, SBIL has implemented various capacity-building trainings to help de-risk SMEs and improve their chances for access to credit.   

The Enterprise Development Programs – which have been rebranded as the Stanbic Accelerator Program, Micro enterprise Development Program and Supplier Development Program. These will have both in-person and online sessions and include both a local and regional focus. These sessions specifically target SMEs at a more intermediate stage of their business journey, such as those that can provide annual turnover reports and other business information. The local program largely supports businesses with the know-how to access capital and markets in the Kampala region. They were shifted fully online when Covid-19 struck for safety reasons. The Micro Enterprise Development Program provides similar support but operates at a national level and targets micro enterprises with 1-2 staff and an average annual turnover of 5M shillings.  

SBIL’s Supplier Development Program is largely geared toward those in the oil and gas industry. This program supports SMEs aiming to qualify as suppliers to larger companies engaged in drilling and other work across the Albertine region. The program supports SMEs to get registered to the national supplier database if not yet registered. This program will support linkages for the beneficiaries to the existing players in the oil camps in order for them to supply companies in drilling and oil and gas construction. This will be conducted with support from local oil companies in the industry. In addition, personal finance modules help SMEs with the necessary principals to arrange both personal and business financing. Similarly, SBIL arranges masterclasses post the trainings for alumni which are information-sharing sessions for about several topics relevant to business growth.  

SBIL’s program Implementation relies on financial support from Stanbic Bank, local and international partners This funding helps SBIL to deliver on the key pillars of access to  capital and market for SMEs. These programs facilitate SMEs develop new product lines, obtain new contracts, and expand into new markets and geographical regions. One of SBIL’s major partners is the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), which focuses on job creation specifically for women and youth. Their target is to create employment for nine hundred people annually through the GIZ partnership. The French Embassy in Uganda is another donor that focuses on supporting SMEs especially youth and women in agroecology and ecotourism. Similarly, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has partnered with SBIL through Petroleum Authority Uganda (PAU) to facilitate and train Business Development Services (BDS) to over 200 SMEs in various sectors along the EACOP route districts – a Ugandan area where the oil and gas pipeline will pass before entering Tanzania. All told, these partnerships have yielded a significant increase in SMEs’ access to funding. 27% of unbanked SMEs engaged in the programs have opened accounts with Stanbic Bank while 15% have begun access credit from Stanbic Bank. 35% have improved their tax compliance – allowing access to more markets and proving an early victory for SBIL’s international partners.  

With pandemic lockdowns coming to an end, Stanbic Business Incubator is now looking to the future and how it can keep serving the business community. Ms. Agaba notes that the company is looking forward to expanding partnership opportunities while prioritizing sustainability. 

 


Government of Uganda announces Small Business Recovery Fund to provide up to UGX 10 million in financing to eligible small businesses

Through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Government of Uganda is set to support small businesses with funding through the Small Business Recovery Fund (SBRF). The announcement came on 16 November 2021 and is part of the government’s measures to help entrepreneurs recover from the financial distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry will disburse the SBRF through Participating Financial Institutions (PFI) such as commercial banks, microfinance deposit-taking institutions, and credit institutions, and loan capital of up to UGX 100 million will be available to eligible small businesses.

Small businesses interested in the SBRF should fulfil the following to be eligible to apply:

  • Demonstrate that they were affected by the pandemic but have strong potential for recovery
  • Have between 5 and 49 employees
  • Have an annual business turnover of at least UGX 10 million
  • Businesses receiving financing under the Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) are not eligible for the SBRF

The terms and conditions of SBRF are set up to help ensure business owners are accessing the capital at affordable rates – PFIs are limited to charging interest at a rate of not more than 10% per annum on a reducing basis and one-time facility fees shall not exceed 0.5 of the total loan. The borrowing business shall bear all other costs incurred in acquiring the loan amount, such as the cost of legal documentation, insurance fees, and registration costs, as applicable. Borrowing businesses will be given a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 4 years to repay the loan, including a one-year grace period depending on the nature of the project and to be decided upon by the borrower and PFI. Collateral requirements will be determined by the PFI.

For more information about the SBRF, contact the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development at finance@finance.o.ug or the Bank of Uganda at info@bou.or.ug.


Skilling Agri-preneurship for Increased Youth Employment Program seeks to support youth farmers in Uganda.

With 14 million EUR in funding from the  Kingdom of Netherlands, the Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI) has launched the program “Skilling Agri-preneurship ship for Increased Youth Employment” to support youth in agriculture to improve their skills, production capacities, and market access. The four-year project launched this year and will run till 2024.

AVSI is implementing this project in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Agriculture Organization (FAO). AVSI has already trained a number of youth farmers across the country, including 50 from Western Uganda. With this project, AVSI will train and fund at least 16,000 youth farmers in Uganda.

Interested youth farmers are advised to reach out to AVSI offices for more information on how they can benefit from the project.

For more information on AVSI office addresses, visit AVSI.


Apply for the Innovation for Climate Resilience Fund.

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF), a UK-based non-profit impact investment fund, has launched the Innovation for Climate Resilience Fund. The Fund seeks to support entrepreneurs in climate resilience and adaptation and was established in partnership with the Adaption Research Alliance and Global Resilience Partnership, with seed funding from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The Fund aims to address the challenge of generating evidence of impact and scalability of climate innovations through working with innovators to improve the rigor of measurement and evaluation towards climate resilience and adaptation.

The Innovation for Climate Resilience fund will finance innovators through grants, equity, and debt instruments, whose innovations demonstrate potential to scale and support the world’s poorest to build resilience and adaption. Global Innovation Fund has a staged funding approach where innovations in the pilot stage can receive up to USD 230 000, innovations in the testing and transition stage receive up to USD 2.3 million, and innovations in the scaling-up stage receive up to USD 15 million.

Innovations eligible for funding should fulfil the following:

  • Have an innovation focused on the poor
  • Present novel approaches
  • Be able to improve upon alternative solutions
  • Have innovations backed by evidence of potential impact
  • Innovation can be applied in several different settings
  • Demonstrate a potential to scale to reach millions of people
  • Be led by strong and dynamic teams
  • Be ready for investment
  • Demonstrate potential to generate new knowledge on what works
  • Demonstrate a clear role for Global Innovation Fund

To apply for the Fund, visit Innovation for Climate Resilience Fund.


Uganda Development Bank partners with Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited to support 2 million women entrepreneurs with access to finance

The Uganda Development Bank (UDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) to support 2 million women entrepreneurs with access to finance.  The initiative will provide loans of UGX 50 million to UGX 100 million to women entrepreneurs through UWEAL. Beneficiaries will access these loans at an interest rate of 10% to 12% – significantly lower than the rate offered by many financial service providers in the market. Women entrepreneurs who cannot afford to borrow UGX 50 million will have the option to access the loan through a group structure. The initiative aims to address concerns by women entrepreneurs about not benefitting from previous government relief packages because they were not sufficiently tailored to their needs.

In addition to access to finance, UWEAL seeks to mitigate other challenges women entrepreneurs face, including access to markets, access to government services, and other opportunities. UWEAL is currently operating in 32 districts.

To benefit from this initiative, register for UWEAL Membership here: UWEAL Membership.


Apply by December 3 for seed funding through the Pitch to Save the World Competition

Idea Foundry, a global impact investor in seed and pre-seed companies, is partnering with Ortus Africa Capital to make UGX 25 million available to Ugandan startups working to achieve one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Companies are invited to apply for a chance to win UGX 12.5M (first place), UGX 7.5M (second place), and UGX 3.5M (third place) along with mentorship and the chance to be heard on a global stage. The initiative is part of Pitch to Save the World, a series of competitions launched by the Idea Foundry to support impact-oriented startups across the globe.

The application will be open through December 3 2021. After a selection process, ten applicants will move to the next round, where they will pitch at a virtual event in front of investors and other ecosystem participants. To be eligible for the competition, interested applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be a legally registered for-profit company
  • Be registered in Uganda or have a significant presence in Uganda
  • Have traction and be beyond the ideation stage
  • Demonstrate a positive social impact in line with the UN SGDs
  • Be a woman-led or have a positive impact on women and/or youth.

To apply for this competition, visit the Application page here. Ten applicants selected to move to the next round will be informed in early January 2022, and the live event will be held in late January 2022.