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!

 

 


Call for applications to the Stanbic Business Incubator Enterprise Development Program starting August 2021

Call for applications to the Stanbic Business Incubator Enterprise Development Program starting August 2021

The Stanbic Business Incubator, in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)’s Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) initiative, invites applications from Uganda’s Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to participate in an enterprise development training program starting August 2021. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts on various topics, including business planning and analysis, innovation and human-centered design, procurement, contracts and bid management, sustainability and the future, marketing and branding, quality management and standards, health and safety compliance and corporate governance.

The three-month program will be conducted virtually and will consist of both self-study and online live sessions. The call targets enterprises in the following sectors:

  1. a) Tourism and hospitality industry, including restaurants, tour guides and operators.
  2. b) Companies active in green sectors (such as renewable energies, energy-efficient products, environmentally friendly transport or electromobility, organic/sustainable agriculture, fisheries, sustainable forestry, recycling, energy and water-saving technology).
  3. c) Manufacturing and value addition, agribusiness, trade, retail and distribution of agricultural inputs and products, food and beverages.

 

Why should your business enroll?

Stanbic Business Incubator is aware of the struggles faced by businesses in the current pandemic. It is committed to ensuring small business survival through this program. Therefore, successful applicants will benefit from:

  • practical self-learning portal to build their knowledge and skills
  • Professional business coaching for the program period to support business growth
  • Live online training and peer learning from industry experts and business practitioners
  • A wealth of market opportunities, funding and joint ventures shared from our vast networks
  • Linkage to Stanbic Bank product offeringswith a recommendation for going through the program and a certificate of completion

 

Who is eligible to apply?

The program is open to businesses that:

  • Are legally registered with Uganda Services Registration Bureau (URSB) and in operation for at least one year
  • Have five employees or more with at least two on a full-time basis
  • Have average turnover of UGX 30 million and above.
  • Demonstrate ability to scale and create jobs
  • Commit to attending for the entire three-month program period

Women-owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

 

How to apply

Interested MSMEs must express their interest by applying through https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/evRKz0.

 

Application deadline: 10th August 2021

For details contact Stanbic Business Incubator on: 

Phone: 0312226700

Email: incubator@stanbic.com

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.

 


Five Tips to Jump Start Your Social Media Marketing Today!

Five Tips to Jump Start Your Social Media Marketing Today!

As a small business owner, you are always on the lookout for new strategies to grow your business. Social media can help your business build relations with existing clients and reach new customers. With COVID-19 pushing more and more businesses online, here are five tips to help jump start your digital social media strategy today!

 

  1. Create a Plan

Creating a social media plan with monthly or quarterly goals will help your business in the long-term. Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For example, setting a goal to ‘reach 200 followers in three months is more useful than having a goal of ‘increasing followers’, and can help direct your efforts to reach that specific number of followers.

 

  1. Know Your Audience

Understanding who your customers are, how they spend their time, and what they like, and dislike can help you effectively target your social media marketing efforts. Moreover, these insights allow you to choose which platforms are most appropriate for your business. If your customers are younger and enjoy interacting with photos and short videos, you know to use platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

 

  1. Build Relationships

Once you have chosen the right platforms to interact with your customers, begin building meaningful long-term relationships by replying to their comments, implementing their suggestions, and starting conversations with them whenever possible.

 

  1. Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Always remember that your customer’s social media feed is flooded with content from hundreds of other businesses. So, make sure to take a step back and make sure your posts are focused on quality, not quantity. Try using the 80-20 rule where 80 percent of your content informs, educates, or entertains your audience. Use the other 20 percent of content to promote your brand or sell your products. Remember that your audience is likely to engage with your brand if it has consistent messaging, tone of voice and visual identity. These elements should be identifiable across all of your content.

 

  1. Track and Refine Your Performance

As you implement your social strategy, it’s important to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. You can then fine-tune your efforts and improve results. For example, if you see that your followers engage the most with shorter posts, consider making your future posts smaller to better suit their needs. There are plenty of social media analytics tools to help you with your customer insights.


Register now for the Youth Ideathon for a chance to win up to UGX 100 million for business investment

Register now for the Youth Ideathon for a chance to win up to UGX 100 million for business investment.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uganda, in partnership with the National Association of Student Enterprises (NASE), invites youth with entrepreneurial aspirations to register for the Youth Ideathon. The Youth Ideathon aims to support young people to develop and refine ideas that can solve some of Uganda’s most significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth can submit innovative ideas for products, services and solutions to address challenges in the following sectors; Health, Agriculture, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Tourism, Mining, Renewable Energy, Manufacturing, Creative Industries, Smart Cities and Urban Development.

 

Why should you participate in the Youth Ideathon?

Youth with successful ideas will benefit from the following:

  • Chance to win seed investment up to UGX 100 million
  • Access to mentorship and training
  • Networking opportunities
  • Marketing of your products and services
  • Co-working spaces
  • Business development services
  • Legal advisory and support

 

Who is eligible to participate?

Eligible applicants should have ideas that meet the following requirements;

  • Outline a customer problem and include a clear suggested solution
  • Include details of the target customer segment and the potential market opportunity
  • Fall under one of the above-mentioned sectors
  • Be the entrepreneur’s own innovation/creation.

 

How to register

Complete the registration form and submit a business profile via the link https://undp.nase.co.ug/participant-registration/

Deadline: 25th July 2021

For more information contact;

Tel: +256 708 080 008

Email: info@nase.co.ug

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/NASEUganda

Twitter –     https://twitter.com/NaseUG?s=09

Visit –          www.undp.nase.co.ug

 


Applications for an Innovation Grant to Catalyze Women Supply Chains are Due July 30th

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), through the VALUE4HER program, invites women-led agribusinesses to apply for an innovation grant. The grant seeks to catalyze women-women supply chains and will provide a crucial link between women SMEs, creating an opportunity for knowledge transfer between women in agribusiness.

How will successful applicants benefit?

Successful applicants will benefit as follows:

  • A grant amount of up to UGX 31 million, which can be used to cover up to 90% of the total budget for approved activities
  • Access to coaching and mentorship or role modelsupport
  • Networking opportunities with 20 top tier women-led SMEs in the sector through the VALUE4HER platform and 400 micro-entrepreneurs

Who can apply?

The innovation grant is open to women-led/owned agribusinesses that meet the following requirements:

  • At least 70% of shares held by one or more women
  • Legal entities (sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporation or limited liability company), with incorporation in an African country
  • Agribusinesses in bulking, processing or trading in agricultural commodities or products
  • Minimum of 3 years in operation
  • Annual turnover of UGX 70 million to UGX 700 million
  • Capacity to contribute at least 10% of the total project budget (in cash or in-kind).

How to apply

  • Eligible applicants are required to complete the official application form available here.
  • Applicants must submit a complete set of documents (scanned copies) to the following email address: rfcn@agra.org
  • Twenty(20) applicants will be selected and informed about winning an innovation grant by email.

Deadline: 30 July 2021, 23:59hrs (EAT).

 

AGRA is a farmer-centred, African-led, partnerships-driven institution working to transform smallholder farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. AGRA’s goal is to catalyze an inclusive agricultural transformation in the African continent by increasing incomes and improving food security. VALUE4HER is AGRA’s continental program, aimed at increasing women agri-enterprises’ performance through access to markets, finance, knowledge, and networking to build women’s collective voice.

For more information about the innovation grant email rfcn@agra.org or visit https://agra.org/call-for-proposals-applications-innovation-grant-for-catalyzing-women-women-supply-chains/.


Apply Now to Participate in Startup Uganda Investor Day!

Apply Now to Participate in Startup Uganda Investor Day!

Are you in operation for two years or more and are looking to scale up your business?

Startup Uganda is hosting the first in a series of Quarterly Investor Days, starting with the Q2 Edition.   Now accepting applications from startups in the Fintech and Health sectors to participate.

Startups will have a chance to pitch to various investors, including; The 97 Fund and Ortus CapitalImpact RoomsInua Capital and an angel investor, Derek J. Lobo.  Applicants should have a developed product and are interested in raising UGX 350 million and above.

Startup Uganda is an association of key players in the Ugandan startup ecosystem. It supports the growth of the ecosystem by maximising its exposure to international investors and network of entrepreneurs from around the globe. The association is partnering with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to consolidate and connect the activities of different startups and  stakeholders with in the ecosystem.

Deadline: 18th June 2021

How to apply

Click the link to apply: https://bit.ly/suinvests.

For more information:

Website: https://startupug.com/program/20/startup-uganda-investor-day-q2

Twitter: Startup Uganda


The Entrepreneurship World Cup

Apply Now for the Entrepreneurship World Cup 2021

The Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) is more than just a pitch competition. It gives everyone who enters access to the knowledge, networks and for some, the capital they need to start and scale a company.

Entrepreneurs from various sectors in Uganda are invited to apply for a chance to win generous prize packages  offered in different categories. First stage winners will be selected at country level  and will undergo several phases throughout the competition to the global finals.

Launched in 2019, the EWC is the ultimate showcase competition for innovative businesses. It supports ventures ranging from the idea stage to the growth stage, with a virtual accelerator program to help all participants launch, strengthen and scale their enterprises. The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates the EWC through a partnership with Misk Global Forum and the Global Leadership and Education Foundation

Why should you join the competition?

EWC 2021 winners will receive prize packages totaling more than US$70 million of in-kind services and more than US$1 million in cash. These will include:

  • One (1) Grand Prize Champion: $500,000
  • One (1) 2nd Place Winner: $250,000
  • One (1) 3rd Place Winner: $100,000

Three (3) Stage Champions:

  • Idea Stage: $50,000
  • Early Stage: $50,000
  • Growth Stage: $50,000

Special Prize:

  • Social Enterprise: $50,000

EWC Service Awards:

  • One hundred (100) awards of in-kind services such as training, coaching and mentorship valued at $700,000 each

Who is eligible to apply?

The competition is open to:

  • Any startup throughout the world to apply free of charge;
  • Applicant(s) legally registered or planning to register in their country of residence;
  • Applicant(s) with operations less than seven (7) years old at the date of the global finals of 2021;
  • Applicants at any of the three (idea, early and growth) stages of the business life cycle.  

How to apply

Eligible enterprises can sign up and apply here

Application deadline: 15th June 2021

For more information, visit https://entrepreneurshipworldcup.com/