By Paul Tentena
Stanbic Holdings, under the Stanbic Business Incubator Limited and the French Embassy in Uganda, have wound up the Network for Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture and Tourism (NISAT) Project aimed at boosting agroecology and ecotourism.
For the past two years, over 100 small business owners have benefited from the training program which the Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) has been carrying out.
With a joint grant funding of 435,000 EUR from the embassy of France in Uganda and SBIL, the NISAT program was launched in April 2021. The embassy of France to Uganda contributed 347,600 EUR to this fund.
SBIL Chief Executive, Tony Otoa said, the main objective of the program was to foster MSMEs in the Agro-Ecology and Eco-Tourism sectors in Uganda to develop sustainably and create jobs by promoting the emergence of networks of actors in these sectors.
“The project has graduated 110 youth and women-owned MSMEs, but impacted over 200 businesses through various channels,” said Otoa.
SBIL provided capacity building so that participants can build and grow sustainable, competitive businesses and create new jobs for youth.
The sessions involved basic business skills training, coaching and mentorship together with opportunities to receive micro-grants. For benchmarking purposes, the trainees were further exposed through field trips to industry leaders.
“The NISAT project has created various opportunities for the businesses that have participated in the program, with 99% completion rate, 25% receiving funds and 85% with improved marketing strategies among others,” added Otoa.
The French Ambassador to Uganda H.E Xavier Sticker said as they were closing the project, a new chapter was opening for the network and with it an opportunity to invent and reinvent innovative partnerships to enable the growth of green businesses and impact positively societies.
At the same Event, the Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL), launched the ‘Green Business Program’, which is intended to guide and support entrepreneurs in diminishing the negative effects of climate change on their businesses.
A subsidiary of Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited (SUHL), SBIL has developed the concept from it’s just concluded ‘Network for Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture and Tourism-NISAT program’, which has been running for two years with support from the Embassy of France in Uganda.
According to Nelson Kasadha, the Programs Manager SBIL, the Green Business Program will target ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators to help them and their teams define and capture the full potential of adopting the new ideas relevant to this sector.
This presents an enormous opportunity for visionary leaders to seed and grow new green businesses that will reshape the world for a sustainable future.
“There are about nine sectors ripe for green business disruption including transport, building and construction, power, water and consumer goods.
Others are; agriculture and land use, green hydrogen fuels, waste management, and industrial products,” said Kasadha, the brains behind this initiative.
“The New Economy is here and it gives far-sighted entrepreneurs the opportunity to succeed with new products and services that reduce carbon emissions and help to transition Uganda’s economy to net-zero while creating thousands of green jobs.
“Through the Green Business Program, Stanbic Business Incubator Ltd has committed to building 200 Green Business national champions through training and coaching, and in collaboration with partners, invest $20 million in green businesses over the next 5 years”.
Kasadha said other goals of the program include; creating and scaling sustainable businesses that drive Uganda’s energy transition and the pathway to net zero, developing the sustainability leaders of the future, improving the socio-economic wellbeing of Ugandans through proliferation of green energy products and services and increase the demand and supply of green jobs.