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.


Are you running an innovative project that helps communities thrive and employs youth? Apply for funding to scale your project by 31 October!

In partnership with the Visegrad Fund, Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister invites applications for grant funding to support and scale inclusive projects in Uganda. The grant, which targets projects that help communities thrive and provide youth employment, will range from UGX 5,000,000 to UGX 800,000,000 and can be used to enhance project concepts, engage in capacity-building activities, and/or for feasibility studies if needed, among others.

Who is eligible to apply?

Grant funding is open to individuals, groups or businesses engaged in the sectors of Agriculture, Consultancy, Education, Fashion, IT & Digital Arts, Manufacturing, Performing Arts, Trade & Commerce, Transport and Tourism. Projects must demonstrate innovation and provide employment opportunities to youth.

Note: All applicants must be aged above 18 years and live in Uganda.

How to apply

Request the application form by sending an email to visegradfund.org@gmail.com.

Application Deadline: 31st October 2021.

For more information, contact:

Tel: +256 758818564

Email: visegradfund.org@gmail.com

Visit:  https://www.visegradfund.org


Stanbic Bank introduces the Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series  in partnership with ConsumerCentriX

Stanbic Bank introduces the Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series in partnership with ConsumerCentriX

“Compassion is an intention that does not necessarily change your actions; instead, it changes the way you conduct your actions.”
- The Mind of the Leader, Harvard Business Review (HBR) Press, 2018 

In light of the tremendous challenges we have all faced over the last 18 months, Stanbic Bank is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce the Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series in partnership with ConsumerCentriX. The idea behind the series, which will consist of three webinars, is that while challenges and suffering are unavoidable, resilience is possible through compassion. Businesses and those they support (both as employees and as customers) can thrive via compassionate leadership.

During the second wave of the pandemic, Uganda faced unanticipated and heartbreaking realities, and nearly everyone was directly affected by COVID-19. As the country now works toward vaccinating the population,  the recently lifted 42-day lockdown, while helping save lives, has clearly had an impact on the resurgence of the economy. Other effects have been felt across the board, whether related to health, education, or mental health and wellbeing – or beyond.

Stanbic Bank has felt these impacts since the start of the pandemic and made the critical decision to act with compassion toward its employees and its customers early on. It has always been the bank’s mission to be a customer-centric organisation, in words and in deeds. SBU’s leader, Anne Juuko, found herself playing the roles of mother and big sister in addition to her responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer in response to the new realities of the pandemic. Executive management introduced supportive measures aimed at safeguarding the wellbeing of employees; for example, the bank invested in free COVID-19 testing for all employees at a time when tests are unaffordable for many individuals, and the bank invested in a well-equipped sickbay where infected employees receive treatment in a safe environment until out of danger. In addition to health-related concerns, the bank also focused on financial hardship brought about by the pandemic. Many Stanbic Bank employees were and continue to support multiple dependents beyond their immediate children and household members with the uptick in unemployment. The bank, in another act of compassionate leadership, extended financial COVID-19 relief of UGX500,000 to each staff member.

As the pandemic slowed businesses and put individual workers out of work, thousands of SBU’s retail and business customers were worried about how they would repay their loans with the bank. In response to this, the bank restructured a loan book worth over UGX900billion and suspended interest payment on loans to thousands of small businesses in multiple sectors. The bank also focused on relationship management, reaching out to customers through multiple lines of communication to encourage and share useful information to help customers stay afloat.

Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from over, both around the world and in Uganda, but we are not powerless to work towards a better future for ourselves, our businesses, our communities, and our loved ones.  As leaders, we carry responsibility to continue to advocate for a better and stronger economy, adequate healthcare, and fairer vaccine distribution. Just as importantly, we can find strength to sustain ourselves through our commitment to universal virtues like compassion.

The Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series, which will be launched on November 4th and run for 6months, will feature discussions with top leaders from key sectors such as banking, healthcare, and small business in Uganda. Join us as we share practical strategies and tools to help business owners lead with compassion, fostering better working environments and leading to stronger business outcomes. We look forward to engaging with you on this exciting series!

 

 


Are you an agroecology or eco-tourism entrepreneur looking to scale your business? Register for a unique training and networking program today!

Are you an agroecology or eco-tourism entrepreneur looking to scale your business? Register for a unique training and networking program today!

The Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) and the French Embassy in Uganda invite micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to apply for their training and networking program. The 2-year program targeting MSMEs in the agroecology and eco-tourism sectors will foster innovation and entrepreneurship through network building. The program will also support skills development and sharing best practices for 100 MSMEs, particularly those run by youth and women. To be eligible, enterprises in agroecology should have a focus on sustainable farming, and enterprises in eco-tourism should be involved in responsible travel to natural areas, conservation of the environment, and help to improve the well-being of the local people.

 

Why should your business enroll?

Enrolling in the program will enable you to access the following support to scale your business:

  • Capacity building to acquire new knowledge and skills
  • Opportunity to compete for micro-grants to promote the visibility of your enterprises
  • Access to a mentorship program
  • Linkages to other entrepreneurs, the French Embassy and other international actors within the ecosystem for new market opportunities

 

Who is eligible?

The program is open to MSMEs that fulfil the following requirements:

  • Actively engaged in the agroecology or eco-tourism sectors
  • Willing to develop a sustainable approach in agriculture or tourism
  • Based in and with operations in Uganda
  • Committed to participate in the training program for one year
  • Informal enterprises that are active within the sectors are also eligible to apply

 

How to apply

Interested MSMEs can apply using this link https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/4NCCwi.

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Eligible youth and women-owned MSMEs are encouraged to apply!

 

For details contact Stanbic Business Incubator Limited on; 

Phone: 0312226700

Email: incubator@stanbic.com

 About Stanbic Business Incubator Limited

The Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) is a private company duly incorporated under the Laws of the Republic of Uganda. The Incubator started in 2018 as an initiative of Stanbic Bank to support and nurture SMEs to prepare for and harness business and growth opportunities.

 


Have lots of downtime in your business? Use this time to build your skills and learn more about your customers

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses in Uganda in many ways. Disruptions due to lockdowns and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus such as movement restrictions have meant that many businesses are pausing operations or seeing a strong downturn in the number of customers.

Use this time to build your skills and learn more about your customers!

  • Learn a new skill that will benefit your business. Many business owners are using this time to learn about social media marketing or customer relationship management. This will keep your mind occupied and give you new tools to reach customers during this period and when business picks up again.
  • Think about new ways to market products or make deliveries. As physical gatherings are discouraged, create social media accounts for your business. Showcase your products and request your friends and family to share them with their networks. Provide an option of delivery if you can.
  • Survey your customers. Business owners often forget to ask customers for feedback. Think of a few questions that would help you better plan your inventory, service offering or marketing campaigns and reach out to your customers to ask for answers. You can give your customers a call or ask a few questions via WhatsApp. Their feedback may give you new ideas or expose gaps in the product or service you are providing.
  • Research new potential products for your business. Reach out to your suppliers and see if they have a new product or service. Ask your customers what they might want when business picks back up again. Then, test these new ideas on your social media accounts or via phone with your network.

Engage your employees in these strategies as well – working together enhances teamwork and can provide a sense of progress despite the restrictions that may be in place.

Share any tips or feedback you have with us here: covid19businessinfohub@gmail.com

 


Have an innovative business working in the agricultural sector? Apply for the Pitch AgriHack 2021 competition today!

Have an innovative business working in the agricultural sector? Apply for the Pitch AgriHack 2021 competition today!

African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) and Heifer International invite African businesses to the seventh edition of  Pitch AgriHack 2021 to pitch their approach to driving technological innovation in the agriculture sector.  The competition will identify and amplify efforts by young innovators to build resilience beyond COVID-19 through digital agriculture products and services. Generation Africa, a thematic platform of the AGRF, will host the competition, which global development organization Heifer International sponsors.

 

Why should your company participate in the competition?

Pitch AgriHack 2021 aims to accelerate digital agriculture entrepreneurship led by young innovators to grow their businesses. Eight winners will be selected from two categories to benefit as follows:

  • Cash prizes for early-stage, mature/growth-stage and women-led businesses
  • Grant funding for scaling up under a fourth invite-only category
  • A one-day boot camp for top contestants preparing for final pitches, with winners receiving continued support as they develop and grow their enterprises
  • Publication of business and individual profiles online to be shared with the investor community
  • Featured as winners at the AGRF Summit, which will be held from September 6-10 in Nairobi

 

Who is eligible for the competition?

The competition is open to companies in the early-stage, growth-stage, or women-led AgTechs with innovative solutions for smallholder farmers. Interested applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a clear and defined description of how their solution is impacting smallholder farmers
  • Demonstrate a strong organizational and operational structure
  • Be aged 18-40 on the day of submission
  • Hold nationality (with official identity card) from any of the 54 nations of the African Union
  • Be the founder/co-founder of the enterprise represented in the competition and play an active role in its operations and leadership
  • Have no criminal record related to corruption, tax evasion, financial impropriety, felony or other offences
  • Should not be a previous Pitch AgriHack finalist or winner

Twelve finalists, including six women-led businesses and six others, will be selected to attend training sessions for a virtual final pitching contest.

 

How to apply

Eligible entrepreneurs can apply here.

Deadline: 16th August 2021

For details, visit Pitch AgriHack | Generation Africa (genafrica.org)

 

About the organizers

African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF)  is Africa’s most visible and well-attended high-level agricultural and food security event. The AGRF aims to create and sustain effective partnerships geared towards the transformation of African agriculture. The AGRF brings together stakeholders to discuss innovative and practical ways to promote increased agricultural productivity and income growth for African farmers.

Generation Africa seeks to inspire and support young agri-food entrepreneurs across Africa and the world to create and scale vibrant businesses. A key goal of our work is to create a new narrative about the opportunity of the agri-food sector and build a more robust ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in Africa’s agri-food and agri-tech sector. We achieve this through an annual GoGettaz Campaign, linked to the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize competition.

Heifer International is a global non-profit that eradicates poverty and hunger through sustainable, values-based, holistic community development. Heifer has been working in Africa for over 47 years and is currently implementing an agricultural transformation initiative to catalyze the strategic shift needed to secure a sustainable and dynamic future for Africa’s smallholder farmers and agricultural sector.


Stanbic Bank Uganda is helping to reduce the financing gap in the agribusiness sector.

Melisa Nyakwera, Head Agribusiness at Stanbic Bank Uganda, spoke with the COVID-19 Business Info Hub on the banks’ initiatives to reduce the financing gaps for smallholder farmers and agribusinesses. 

Stanbic Bank Uganda’s initiatives to reduce the financing gap in the agribusiness sector

Stanbic Bank Uganda has the following initiatives to facilitate access to finance for the sector:

  • The bank uses the One Farm platform to profile farmers and agribusinesses. We understand their needs and provide solutions such as input financing, agronomy training, insurance, and information on markets.
  • Stanbic Bank Uganda is increasing access to affordable finance to the farmers through their SACCOs and farmer groups by lending to the SACCOs and farmer groups at a subsidized interest rate.
  • The bank provides several financial products to the sector, including short-term and long-term loans, invoice discounting, stock financing, and asset financing.
  • Using the Flexi pay wallet, clients receive and pay for services or commodities from one wallet to another at no charge.

Keep in mind that agribusinesses need to have in place good business records, plans and a clear strategy to access financing during these challenging times.

For more information call: 0800250250 or WhatsApp: 0770588623

What is the role of Stanbic Bank Uganda in the agribusiness sector?

Stanbic Bank Uganda’s agribusiness segment works with all customers within the agriculture space. We look at the value chain from input suppliers, smallholder farmers, aggregators, and processors. We also engage with non-government organizations (NGOs), development institutions and ministry agencies working together to make a difference. Our role is running through that whole value chain to understand the needs of different actors and develop solutions to meet the requirements. We ensure that the solutions help them achieve their needs, and in case they require long term support, we work and walk with them along that journey.

 

How is the bank facilitating access to finance for the agribusiness sector? 

The bank has several initiatives in place to facilitate access to finance for the agribusiness sector.

First, we’ve got a new initiative called the One Farm platform. Here, we partner with Agri-techs, who collect data from farmers and agribusinesses, analyze it to understand their requirements and provide solutions through the platform. Some of the services offered include input financing, agronomy training, insurance and information on markets. This initiative has helped to improve financial inclusion for several actors in the agribusiness value chain.

The bank has come together with several funding partners to provide affordable loans to Savings Credit and Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) and farmer groups.  SACCOs receiving these funds can offer affordable loans to their members as well. We are also helping the SACCOs and farmer groups digitize records for a faster lending process.  Funding partners include Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The third initiative is through the bank’s conventional offerings, which cut across the different value chain players from actual farmers, input providers to processors. Essentially, we have short-term and long-term loans, invoice discounting, stock financing, and versatile asset financing. We also have the Flexi pay wallet that enables users to receive and pay for services and commodities from one electronic wallet to another at no charge.

 

What can SMEs do to overcome disruptions resulting from the pandemic effects?

We all understand the impact of the pandemic, and we need to protect ourselves and keep safe. It means we have to go into the digital marketplace. Embracing digital tools will keep you safe and enable you to reach more customers than opting for face to face interactions.

Suppose businesses want to last and withstand the pandemic effects. In this case, they need good business plans, financial records and a strategy to follow through during this period. It will ease access to financing that they can use for operations to adapt to the current and future changes.

Financial institutions also need to play more in this space by supporting SMEs prepare the necessary records and plans to access the financing required.

 

For more information and access to Stanbic Bank’s Agri-banking Team;

Call: 0800250250

WhatsApp: 0770588623

Website: www.stanbic.co.ug

Visit any of our over 60 branches countrywide!