DFCU Rising woman initiative, now in its second year has been at the helm of building women business owners and women leaders.
The financial institution embarked on a journey to create an enabling environment for small and medium women-owned enterprises.
The program aims at working with diverse women to turn business ideas into reality and act as agents of change in their communities whilst addressing the ever-growing women in business grievances.
With the theme running as, ‘Taking your business ahead,’ focus is set on providing female entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and abilities to improve the way in which they operate their businesses; with a goal of enabling them to create profitable operations.
Tours across the country have been taken up in this year’s rising woman initiative and over 1,200 women benefited from the project across the regions including Western (Ishaka), Eastern (Mbale), Northern (Gulu) and the central (Kampala).
Victoria Byenkya, Manager Women in Business program at DFCU says, the essence of starting up the Rising woman initiative was mainly to create a culture of mentorship and celebrate the unsung women heroines in business.
“Ladies face a lot of challenges such as business management, customer care, marketing, business etiquette among others; the initiative has realized tangible results through the impact of literacy skills, business clinics and advisory services courtesy of DFCU. I strongly believe that these will continue to spill over in future,” Byenkya said in an interview at Hotel Africana.
She added that the culmination of the initiative is two-fold which includes the awarding ceremony and a two-day Expo that will be held on November 15 - 16th.
“The 2019 Expo will provide an opportunity for women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to share knowledge and move their business forward. Business clinics with already established businesswomen will be key speakers. Over 200 exhibitors and attendees are expected to attend the two-day expo.” she noted.
Elizabeth Namaganda, head of marketing - NMG group, which is a partner in the initiative says the pieces of training are meant to enrich and empower women entrepreneurs.
Many businesses die out before they celebrate their first birthday and so need was felt as coming together as a team to grow these businesses.
Namaganda said that women were called up to engage in business proposal writing so that they can stand a chance to win themselves money to add in their businesses and also a study trip to Kenya.
“The top 3 winners of this year’s Rising Woman Initiative will win UGX 15 million, 10 million and 5 million respectively. The Top 10 participants will go on an all-expense-paid study tour in Nairobi - Kenya in January 2020 and part of them being the 3 women of the cash prize.” She said.
Esther Kisakye, proprietor of ‘forever living’ a small scale business involved in the sale of health and nutrition products says since 2011, her business has not been moving ahead but she hopes to put into practice the knowledge attained in the pieces of training.
“I thank the organizers for bringing this program mostly to women, I’m glad that I came today for the training, I think I’ve been sleeping. to whoever wants to start up any business, always take time and do your homework - acquire training because there is a lot to learn,” Kisakye said.
BY FRANK SEMATA