KAMPALA, UGANDA – 1 December 2022: Approximately 50 women entrepreneurs, who qualified for the Business Accelerator Program launched in August this year, participated in the first ever Business Accelerator Program (BAP) Peer Visit which was held at The Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Ltd (CURAD) and Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI).
The visit, that aimed to make the curriculum more practical, give the participants exposure and help them build personal networks, was held after the entrepreneurs had undergone a host of trainings in different topics including governance, financial literacy, financial management and many others.
While flagging off the visit, dfcu Bank Head of Business and Personal banking Robert Wanok congratulated all the women entrepreneurs who had made it this far and were still focused on improving their businesses.
He encouraged the women to put more emphasis on being biddable and being bankable.
“dfcu Limited has learnt about the importance and need to enable women-led and women-owned businesses.
We have allocated over 50% of our shares to women-led businesses, and the idea is to accelerate these businesses and get them to a level where they are competitive, and they can be able to scale.
As dfcu we are working aggressively through these enterprises to be able to identify and pick out businesses that are in one form or the other involved within the agriculture value chains.”
“We have a vision to be able to reach out to over 1500 farmers in the next 5 years, with an aim of ensuring we can be able to scale them,” he added.
The Executive Director of the Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC), Josephine Mukumbya noted that this program encompasses farmers, organizations as well as enterprises, small and medium in agribusiness, in a bid to extend the agribusiness portfolio.
“We began our initial cohort as the agribusiness cohort, noting very well that 52% of the entrepreneurs are women. We noticed statistically that the women in Uganda are very enterprising, but their businesses do not really grow and thrive.
Working alongside you, we believe that we can open areas of learning, in terms of governance and structure, appreciating your business models, risk management and opening networks of fellow entrepreneurs,” she said.
Stella Kitirima, one of the women entrepreneurs and CEO of Stella Kitirima Enterprises shared her experience and journey being part of the BAP.
“This opportunity presented itself when I needed it the most. Through the BAP facilitators and the training sessions I have attended with my 2 children, we are in a better business position than where we were 2 months ago.
So, I encourage any woman who can to participate in the next program; be confident and resilient,” she said.
The Business Accelerator Program was launched to develop, promote and build capacity of Agribusinesses.
It is a program driven by dfcu limited under Women in Business (WiB), and purposes to extend similar opportunities to every entrepreneur.