Uganda Ecosystem Builders 2020
About The Program
Village Capital, with support from the Argidius Foundation, is launching a program that will develop entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs) in Uganda.
We will do this by using an intermediaries diagnostic, bootcamps, and 1:1: business advisory support. The project aims to improve the quality of intermediaries and thus the quality of support that SMEs and startups receive.
In recent years, Uganda has oft-been cited as the most entrepreneurial country in the world. While granted some of this entrepreneurship isn’t categorized as tech-enabled or high-growth, there are still countless ventures across the country building scalable solutions in a variety of sectors such as fintech and agriculture. As a result, intermediaries are meeting the challenge of supporting these entrepreneurs. In fact, the number of tech hubs in Uganda has grown by 25% since 2016.
Intermediaries in Uganda play a critical role in creating an entrepreneurship community, building ecosystem networks, and helping early-stage entrepreneurs through programs, mentoring, and investor connections. That being said, entrepreneurs want to see more sector-specific advice, more support for later-stage entrepreneurs, and more diversity of offerings. On the other hand, investors want more investable companies, more success stories, more ecosystem integration, and more preparation for scale beyond Kampala and Uganda.
While there are many intermediaries in Uganda, the good news is that there are plenty of entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs to keep them busy. But how can these organizations work together more effectively to support the ecosystem as a whole? How can they best support entrepreneurs while filling their own gaps in financial sustainability and human capital?
Village Capital, with support from the Argidius Foundation, is launching Uganda Ecosystem Builders 2020 to train and support intermediaries in Uganda. The project will build organizational capacity through bootcamps and the provision of 1:1 business advisory support. This project aims to improve the quality of intermediaries in Uganda, and thus the quality of support that SMEs and startups receive, through the following:
• A full business diagnostic specifically designed to assess intermediaries relative to industry standards
• Support developing a performance plan of milestones across critical business areas towards improved strategy, operations, and business sustainability
• The opportunity to pitch this performance plan for grant funding from both the program and other development partners
• Best practice sessions within critical business areas: team, problem and vision, value proposition, services and programs, pipeline and selection, ecosystem, operations, financial sustainability, and impact.
• Advice from experienced mentors
To be eligible, organizations must be focused on supporting enterprises addressing countrywide problems such as financial inclusion, agriculture, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and livelihoods.
This program is best suited to entrepreneur support organisations and business development service providers supporting small and medium enterprises and/or startups.
Intermediaries MUST fall into one of the following categories:
• Accelerator or incubator of early-stage companies
• Seed stage or early-stage venture capital firm
• Association or network of entrepreneurs
• Makerspace or fablab
• SME business advisory firm
• University incubator
• Think tank
Applicants must have operations in Uganda. Applicants can have operations in other countries however preference will be given to those solely operating in Uganda.
We will select roughly 20 organisations to attend the training. We will host two bootcamps and one pitch day in Uganda. The dates are as follows:
• Bootcamp 1: Jan 19-22 (virtual)
• Bootcamp 2: Feb 16-19 (maybe in person?)
• Pitch Day: Tue, Mar 16 (in person, could be virtual depending on the situation)
The deadline to apply for this program is October 5, 2020. Apply now.
The Advisory Board
Dr. Edward M Isingoma
Managing Partner, Pearl Capital Partners
ANDE, Program Manager, East Africa
Kigen Chelimo, CFA
Senior Project Leader
Senior Executive, Small Foundation
Jean Anthony Onyait
CEO-Quest Digital Finance limited