Apply for the 2021 Social and Inclusive Business Camp

The Social and Inclusive Business Camp (SBIC) invites entrepreneurs to apply for the 2021 cohort. SBIC is an acceleration and capacity building programme dedicated to entrepreneurs with an impact project on the African continent and a desire to scale up. It seeks to bring together an active and dynamic community of change agents, therefore promoting networking, collective intelligence, and peer to peer sharing. Since its first cohort in 2017, the SIBC has supported 200 entrepreneurs with a strong social impact in Africa in their transition to scale-up and preparation for fundraising. The programme is organized around four key themes;

  1. Leadership, governance and team: defining better your purpose and mission, structuring your governance, and organizing your teams for successful growth
  2. Scale-up: adapting your business model and building your scale-up strategy to multiply your impact
  3. Environment Social Governance(ESG) & impact: defining your ESG & impact policy and measuring your social performance
  4. Investment readiness: identifying your financing needs, understanding investor expectations, and preparing to raise funds

 

How will successful applicants benefit?

The successful applicant will benefit from the hybrid support programme, which includes:

  • Four months of remote coaching on a dedicated online platform, alternating interactive virtual classes with international experts, and learning resources to consult autonomously.
  • One week of intensive Bootcamp in Marseille, France, in partnership with the Emerging Valley Summit
  • The possibility for each participant to be followed by a mentor from among the experienced alumni of the programme
  • Networking through integration into an active and ambitious international community of entrepreneurs and networking with investors and financial partners during the Bootcamp.

 

Who can apply? 

To apply, the company must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a legally registered company
  • Proof of a positive impact in Africa: social or environmental impact, activity serving vulnerable populations and creating jobs for these populations
  • Proof of customers, business turnover, and a balanced economic model or a medium-term profitability objective
  • Have a desire to grow and present a scale-up strategy

 

How to apply

The application file must be completed here and is comprised of:

  • An application form to be completed (questions on the project leader, the company, its structure, its Impact and its strategy for scaling up)
  • Proof of the legal registration of the company (registration document, articles of association, etc.)
  • Financial statements for the last three years
  • Detailed CV of the project leader
  • If you wish, a pitch deck or a presentation of your company (optional)

Application Deadline: 23rd July 2021

For more information about the programme:  

Email: ipconseil@ietp.com

LinkedIn: Social and Inclusive Business Camp

Visit: https://ietp.wiin-organizers.com/en/competitions/60980a7e5d27885d238ad5aa

 

 

 


New COVID-19 Measures and What They Mean for Your Business

On Friday, June 18, the government introduced new anti-coronavirus measures to help curb a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the country. We understand that these are challenging times for Ugandan entrepreneurs as they strive to protect their families and businesses. We are here to help with a summary of the changes and what they mean for your business.

What are the new revised measures? 

  • The country will observe a new curfew time from 05:30hrs to19:00hrs
  • Shopping centers, churches and sports arenas are now closed.
  • All public and private transport will be suspended. However, emergency vehicles, police and army vehicles, and essential workers vehicles will be allowed to move. Boda-bodas will be allowed to move from 05:30hrs until 17:00hrs.
  • Workers within the essential sectors can continue working and should have a movement permit, work identification or authorization letters to ease their movement.

Note: The essential sectors are agriculture, industry, manufacturing and tourism, health and medical services, security (police and army), utilities, mass media, telecoms, banking institutions, waste management, retail shops and market, cargo transport and goods distribution.

What measures are still in place?

  • All schools and educational institutions remain closed.
  • Entebbe International Airport remains open. However, air travellers have strict rules and protocols to ensure the virus and new variants do not enter Uganda.
  • With the exception of returning Ugandans, international travellers coming from category A countries may not enter the country. Currently, only India is listed as a category A country.

How does this impact different industries?

  • Agricultural activities are permitted to continue uninterrupted because they do not encourage crowding.
  • When possible, factories and construction sites must house workers at workplaces for the next 42 days. Factory owners should work with the Ministry of Health to ensure that only uninfected workers are allowed on site.
  • Where workers’ housing is not possible, the factory owners should work with the health technical committee to agree on a safe alternative to enable factory activities to continue.
  • All cargo movements in and out of Uganda will be allowed without any disruption. Trucks are permitted to carry only two people.
  • Registered tourist vehicles will be allowed on roads if they move directly to their designated destinations.
  • Institutions, organizations, and workplaces should have person/s dedicated to compliance with SOPs (listed below), restrict the physical presence of staff to a bare minimum, and encourage people to work from home whenever possible.
  • All workplaces should observe standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Ministry of Health – See the box below for more details.

Summary of the SOPs

SOP Detail
Cleanliness of premises ·       Carry out disinfection and sanitization process regularly during operations and  after operations
Health screenings ·       Ensure that all staff, suppliers and customers undergo a body temperature screening process
Hand washing /use of hand sanitizers ·       Provide hand washing points or hand sanitizers at the entrance to the premises and ensure  that hands are washed  before entering the premises
Use of face masks ·       Ensure that workers use a face mask at all time when on the premises
Social distancing ·       Ensure social distancing of one meter at all times

 

Given these new measures, what can I do to protect my business?

These new restrictions are likely to have significant impact on the operations of most businesses in Uganda in the near future; however, business owners can follow the tips to ensure business continuity and workplace safety:

  • Prepare a business continuity plan that fully addresses pandemic risks to enable the business to stay up and running during the time of restriction and beyond.
  • Maintain the company’s liquidity by reducing expenses because the disruptions may affect business sales and revenue.
  • Protect your customers by providing a safe environment and assuring them that they are protected.
  • If possible, allow staff to work remotely to reduce exposure to the disease. It will ensure the team feels safe and remains productive.
  • Increase the use of online and digital tools to reach out to suppliers and the market.
  • Be safe and make sure you continue to follow the appropriate SOPs for your business.

Reference:

  1. Speech on the resurgence of COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda.Issued 06.06.2021
  2. Speech on the revised COVID-19 restrictions in Uganda. Issued 18.06.2021


Register for the ARISE Training Program for Women Executives

Register for the ARISE Training Program for Women Executives

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and RENEW Strategies (RENEW) are inviting woman-owned or -led agribusinesses to participate in the African Resilience & Investment Series for Women Executives (ARISE). This free program consists of a four day training on Advanced Management and Financial Skill and aims to reach more than 2,000 women in agriculture-focused small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa. The training will provide:

  • Managerial capacity building, including:
  • Strategic planning
  • Governance of your business
  • Finance for executives
  • Marketing and sales
  • Digital platforms as a means for business resilience
  • Coaching on investment readiness, and
  • Advice on pitching to investors.

By participating in this training,  women in agribusiness will improve their business capacity and resilience as they recover from financial hardships caused by the pandemic.

Date: 14th -17th June 2021, 02:30 – 05:00 pm EAT

Topic: Advanced Management and Financial Skills

To attend the free training:  Register here

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa  (AGRA) 

AGRA is a farmer-centred, African-led, and partnerships-driven institution that transforms Africa’s smallholder farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. AGRA programs develop practical solutions to boost farm productivity and incomes for the poor while safeguarding the environment. 

RENEW Strategies (RENEW)

RENEW is an impact investment firm. It manages and serves a global network of investors that seek to realize both social impact and financial returns on their investments in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

For more information, contact: mshiri@agra.org or renew@renewstrategies.com


Agribusiness

Building resilience for SMEs in the Agribusiness sector post COVID-19

This month, the COVID-19 Business Info Hub seeks to understand how the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Agribusiness sector can remain resilient after the pandemic. We will feature insights from different players in the Agribusiness Ecosystem. We will explore the pandemic’s disruptions on the Agribusiness supply chain, learn about the sector’s challenges and opportunities, and provide insights on what to do to stay afloat. We will provide you and your business information on the available interventions and support that you can take advantage of to grow your business.

Before the pandemic, SMEs in the Agribusiness sector were vibrant and engaged in significant value addition with the food system. They created employment along the value chains in agricultural trade, farm services and inputs, agro-processing, urban retailing and food services. However, when the pandemic hit, the sector suffered adverse effects, especially disruption of the supply chain and reduction in market demand. Although SMEs tried to respond by adopting digital solutions to access information on production, training services, and access to finance and markets, business still remains low. Nevertheless, as the economy is slowly opening up after months of lockdown and restricted movement, SMEs are slowly seeking to build back businesses.

Stakeholders, therefore, need to design interventions that support SMEs to continue playing their critical role within the sector. Interventions should help SMEs cope with the economic and financial implications of the pandemic. For example, help them strengthen their digital capacity through training and provide them with relevant information for business continuity. Successful implementation of these interventions will enable SMEs to become innovative, build resilience, and manage the current pandemic effects. They will also withstand continued market uncertainty and position for more robust post-COVID trade.

Are you interested in learning how some of the Agribusinesses managed to survive the pandemic? Do you want to know more about the policies and initiatives to help you stay resilient and grow your business? Then, keep following The Covid-19 Business Information Hub this month for more insights and relevant resources in the Agribusiness sector!


Risk

Strategies for Managing Risk as an SME

Strategies for Managing Risk as an SME

Risk management involves making and carrying out decisions to minimize potential adverse effects of risk on a business. Failing to effectively manage risks can be especially damaging for small businesses with fewer resources and expertise.  With that in mind, here are five  strategies SMEs can use to manage risk in their businesses. 

Diversify your products or services. 

Offering a wider selection enhances customer satisfaction, create new income streams, and give you an edge over your competition. For example, if a tech shop selling mobile phones starts providing repair services – this can turn one-time customers into regulars

Educate yourself about the law. 

If you understand the laws surrounding your business, you can avoid potential roadblocks in the future. For example, if, if you enter a contract with another business, it’s important to understand the terms and consequences of violating this contract. Even small violations here can lead closure of your business by governing authorities

Keep clear, transparent records.   

Keeping clear records of important transactions like sales and tax payments reduces the risk of loss of income, conflict with clients, or fraud. Staying organized with paperwork also allows you to monitor your finances. For example, if you’re operating a clothing business, you can determine which products generate more income, enabling you to make decisions on which products to focus on.

When you need financing, acquire business loans from a formal, transparent source.  

Do your research and partner with a financial institution that you can trust. This means making sure that the repayment amounts, interest and fees are transparent. Informal sources like moneylenders usually have hidden costs and high interest, that increase your risk of default.

If possible, invest in insurance. 

By investing in insurance relevant to your business, you can avoid the costs of an unforeseen event. For example, a restaurant business opting for fire insurance. However, as insurance policies have exclusions, consult with an insurance broker to explain what is and what is not covered by your business insurance.


Women’s World Banking, Fintech

Apply Now for the 2021 Fintech Innovation Challenge

Women’s World Banking is inviting applicants for the 2021 Fintech Innovation Challenge, which aims to highlight fintech innovations serving unbanked and underserved women to build women’s security and prosperity in the face of global inequalities. Women’s World Banking designs and invests in financial solutions in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. The organization has a global reach of 56 partners in 31 countries, serving more than 69 million women clients.

Application categories

Fintechs can submit applications in one of the two categories.

Build Security and Resiliency: Solutions that enable the unbanked and underserved women to build resilience through convenient, secure and reliable access to safety nets to ensure greater equality in the post-COVID-19 world.

Build Economic Prosperity: Solutions that enable the unbaked and deserved women to build their business and household income and drive economic growth to ensure greater equality in a post-COVID-19 world.

How will the successful applicants benefit?

The successful applicants will get benefits in two categories below:

Finalists will receive; 

  • Invitation to present at Women’s World Banking’s virtual Fintech Innovation Challenge in October 2021, Thought Leadership Series.
  • A virtual experience of Visa Inc’s Dubai Innovation Center, where you will be able to be part of an immersive experience in the future of payments furnished by Visa Inc.
  • One-year complimentary membership into Women’s World Banking’s Global Network.
  • Priority access to our Gender Assessment Methodology, a proprietary approach to helping institutions become a brand and employer of choice for women.
  • Complimentary tickets to the Making Finance Work for Women2022 Summit.

 

Winners will receive:

  • Customized fintech fueler package guidance session furnished by Visa Inc.
  • An exclusive pitch meeting and feedback session with the Women’s World Banking Asset Management Team.
  • A total of four one-on-one leadership coaching and feedback sessions with one of Women’s World Banking’s executive coaches.
  • A guaranteed spot as a featured speaker at a Making Finance Work for Women,2022 event. 

 

Who is eligible to apply?

The innovation challenge is open to:

  • Startup fintechs based anywhere leveraging technology to provide financial services for unbanked and underserved women in emerging markets.
  • Fintechs that demonstrate a commitment to developing women leaders through women in their senior management team and Board of Directors.
  • Solutions that focus on building women’s security or prosperity, particularly in supporting resilience and recovery from global economic shocks
  • Applicants that are pre-revenue but demonstrate a viable value proposition to reach unbanked and underserved women.

 

How to apply

Eligible fintechs can apply here

Application Deadline: June 20, 2021

 

For more information about the call:  

Email: fintechchallenge@womensworldbanking.org

Visit:  https://www.womensworldbanking.org/fintech-innovation-challenge-2021/

 


Agribusiness sector

Stanbic Business Incubator Limited partners with Pure Grow Africa to enhance agribusiness sector development in the Albertine region.

Agribusiness sector

Stanbic Business Incubator Limited partners with Pure Grow Africa to enhance agribusiness sector development in the Albertine region.

The Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) has partnered with Pure Grow Africa under the Albertine Agribusiness Development Program to promote and nurture the agribusiness sector in the Albertine region. The program seeks to produce and aggregate quality food for supply to the region’s oil camps, which are expected to host over 160,000 when the oil production and development phase starts. The target is to support 20 Micro, Medium, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and over 200 farmers through enterprise development, smallholder farmer training, and markets linkages.

SBIL will support the initiative by mobilizing funds for agribusiness activities, sourcing training experts, and bringing partners to invest in the program for job and wealth creation in Uganda. SBIL established an agribusiness hub in Bujumbura, Hoima District, for training, coordination, and aggregation of the farmers’ produce. Farmers will have the opportunity to receive training on best practices in agronomics and extension services, and MSMEs will have a chance to access finance and lucrative markets.

As a program partner, Pure Grow Africa will be in charge of mapping the region’s agribusiness ecosystem and profiling farmers to establish training needs and production capacity. Pure Grow Africa will also provide a market for farmer produce. The sectors of focus include; horticulture, cereals, grains, poultry, and animal husbandry. The planned farmer training will cover various aspects such as farm management, postharvest handling and record keeping. To ensure the program achieves quality and consistent production, meeting market requirements.

 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. For more information, email: incubator@stanbic.com.

About Pure Grow Africa 

Pure Grow Africa is an agribusiness company whose primary aim is to source and market all types of Agricultural Items “Fresh or Dry”, “Raw or Value added. It also supports smallholder farmers through a system that empowers and strengthens them to remain productive in their agricultural enterprises. For more information, email: b.kimbuggwe@puregrowafrica.com.


The GSMA Innovation Fund

Applications for The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban services now open

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services (Fund) is looking for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and South-East Asia to build innovations that deliver essential urban services to the undeserved. The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) has 10 years of experience running innovation funds on many topics on social services development using mobile applications. GSMA’s approach is to fund inclusive projects that have a clear socio-economic impact and are commercially sustainable. GSMA believes digital solutions have the power to reduce inequalities within our world by connecting everyone and everything to a better future. The Fund will be used to extract digital insights from business models to improve necessary urban services delivery across energy, water, sanitation, plastics and waste management. The Fund will provide grants for businesses to test and scale digital innovations.

How will the successful applicants benefit?

Successful projects for The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services will receive;

  • Grant funding between UGX 500 million and UGX 1.2 billion to support projects over 15 to 18 months;
  • Bootcamp (a programme of expert-led sessions and targeted networking) and regular online clinics on topics such as product or service improvement, human-centred design and usability testing;
  • Learning exchange opportunities with other grantees and networking opportunities with other GSMA partners;
  • Monitoring and evaluation support to evidence socio-economic impact and promote product improvement;
  • Facilitation of relationships with mobile operators and public sector organizations where relevant;
  • Opportunity to increase your visibility and raising your profile to potential investors and partners through profiling in GSMA publications, social media and events.

Who is eligible to apply?

Interested applicants must meet the following criteria;

  • Have active users and commercial revenue in at least one eligible low- or middle-income market in Africa and Asia
  • Commit to providing 25% to 50% matching funding depending on the total grant amount requested
  • Be an entity registered and operating in the country of project implementation (whether domestic or foreign-owned or a joint venture).
  • Be fully compliant with relevant business licensing, taxation, employee and other regulations in all applicable countries of grant project operation.
  • Be registered and have a bank account in the country where they will receive the grant money
  • Only one organization can apply for funding and become a grantee.

 

How to apply

Register and apply for the Fund here

Application deadline: 02 July 2021

For more information about the Fund:

Contact GSMAIF@gsma.com

Visit www.gsma.com/digitalurbanservices


East Africa Innovation Call

Applications now open for WE4F East Africa Innovation Call

The Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) East Africa Innovation Call seeks innovative Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with climate-friendly and resource-efficient solutions to address the water-energy-food nexus challenges in East Africa. The solutions may be digital or non-digital, organizational, financial or advisory in nature. The best solutions will demonstrate the direct/indirect positive impact on smallholder farmers, the environment, women, and youth.

WE4F works closely with the private sector to increase the sustainability of agricultural food value chains. It also helps to address environmental and climate resilience in developing countries and emerging markets, focusing on the poor and women. The WE4F programme is particularly interested in easily accessible, adaptive, low-cost solutions with immediate impacts and benefits for smallholder farmers and other value chain actors.

How will the successful applicants benefit?

WE4F will select at least 15 enterprises from the focus countries to benefit from:

  • Enrollment in business development programme delivered over a 15-18 month period
  • Receive technical support and mentorship on business expansion
  • Business advisory services to unlock investment for scaling up businesses
  • Selection to access result-based financing opportunities

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Entrepreneurs must be legally incorporated as a for-profit company in one of these 7 East African countries; Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda
  • Businesses must be operational for at least 18 months
  • Established enterprises with annual revenue of UGX 200 million  to UGX 2 billion equivalent
  • Applicants must have an established current customer base with ambitions to scale to new geographies, products, and customer segments plus increase annual turnover.
  • Applicants should be seeking debt, equity, or blended finance investments to scale the business.

How to apply: 

Eligible candidates can register and apply for the Call here.

Register here for the information session on 25 May 2021

Application deadline 

15 June 2021 at 11:59 PM EAT

For details about the Call;

Email: we4f.apply@niras.com or   support@submittable.com.

Visit https://eastafrica.we4f.org/ or download the brochure.


Start-up Fund

National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Hi- Innovator Initiative Seeks applicants

The NSSF Hi-Innovator Initiative is inviting applications from small and growing businesses that seek to grow sustainably. Eligible businesses will have the opportunity to access entrepreneurship education, funding, and technical support. Hi-Innovator is an initiative of Uganda’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF), established as a start-up fund. The start-up fund identifies and supports Uganda’s small and growing businesses that have the potential for significant impact and sustainability. The Hi-Innovator initiative is a partnership with multiple entrepreneurship support organizations to enable small and growing businesses to receive access to the resources they need.  NSSF and its partners will link profitable and sustainable business that can drive positive social change to local and foreign investors.

The Hi-Innovator Initiative support will go to businesses addressing the Sustainable Development Goals, National Development Plan and NSSF’s strategic business objectives. The sector focus is on education, agriculture, health, energy, tourism, and financial services.  The program is targeting over 500 businesses served and at least 50,000 entrepreneurs to be trained, all culminating in130, 000 work opportunities created.

Why should your business join the Hi-Innovator Initiative?

Successful applicants with get the following benefits:

  • Up to UGX 100 million in grant funding for your business
  • Tailored mentorship and business training
  • Exposure and linkage to investors to scale your business
  • Access to Outbox innovation hub’s network of partners to build a product market

Who is eligible to apply?

The initiative is open to businesses that meet the criteria below:

  • Fully registered business with Uganda Registry Services Bureau (URSB), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and The National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
  • Have been operational in the previous 2 years with at least revenue of UGX 20 million
  • Should at least have launched a product or service to market and have customer feedback
  • Have at least 2 or more founding members for the business. A team of one founding individual will not be considered
  • All team members must be fully proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Founders commit to participating in at least 90% of the initiative’s scheduled learning labs and mentorship sessions
  • Have not raised more than UGX 1 billion in blended capital, e.g. grants, equity financing or venture capital at the time of submission

 

How to apply

Eligible SMEs can apply here.

Applications received by email, WhatsApp or in person will not be accepted.

 

For inquires please contact:

Tel: +256 757 000 152

Email: hi-innovator@nssfug.org

Visit: https://hi-innovator.nssfug.org/about