The Agribusiness Development Centre powered by dfcu limited and Rabo foundation has launched a Business Accelerator Program (BAP) that will attract Agribusinesses getting out of ideation phase and offer them a business acceleration opportunity which should enable these enterprises to attract markets and funding for growth and sustainability of their operations.
BAP will enable 350 agribusinesses (40% women-led) to become self-sufficient & create at least 350 new jobs, Link at least 50% of these agribusinesses to financing and markets.
The program aims to link at least 50 of these businesses to affordable Green Finance and technical assistance.
The objective of this partnership is to be able to collectively contribute directly to the five SDGs: 5- Gender equality; 7 – Affordable Clean Energy; 8-Decent work and economic growth; and 17- Partnerships for goals
Mathias Katamba, dfcu Bank CEO noted that dfcu has worked closely with ADC to create the Business Accelerator Program whose main objectives are to support business improvements and facilitate the necessary linkages for growth and sustainability.
“Since its inception, dfcu Bank has made continuous commitments to support a wide base of customers that include; SMEs, women entrepreneurs, Investment Clubs. Our partnership with ADC is part of a joint mission to grow, build and promote the prospect of a sustainable future.
Agribusiness is the future of Uganda, and this partnership will help us continue to fulfill our commitment to serve and build this sector.”
The program cohorts shall be thematic to consider varied hindrances to agribusiness growth as well as harness opportunities for business acceleration. The themes under consideration over two years, shall be; key value chains; greening agribusinesses; Oil & Gas opportunities for Agribusinesses; Youth in agribusiness with the first cohort premised on a theme of gender inclusivity in agribusiness development.
“We hope to Influence youth& women inclusivity in the leadership of at least 50% businesses at the end of the program. The learners will also be exposed to peer and networking opportunities through learning visits to experts in varied fields.” Josephine Mukumbya, Executive Director, ADC.
Why the “Women in Agribusiness” as the first cohort?
Women make up to 52% of the labour force and are an important talent to help Uganda meet its development goals especially in entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium enterprises growth. However, it is generally known that women face more challenges than men in starting, managing, and growing their enterprises as they are more likely to be impeded by a lack of the necessary capacities, skills, and resources. They are more disadvantaged than men due to legal impediments and others [Women’s Entrepreneurship Development in Uganda, Enock Mugabi, 2014 copyright International Labor Organization]
Therefore, a Business Acceleration Program (BAP) targeted for women-led agribusinesses will build their capacity and investment readiness to access financing from investors and financial institutions.
Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation coupled with the growth of Agri-SMEs will help women develop greater economic prosperity. With the training experience and unique position of ADC having dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation as their member partners, we believe it will open more opportunities for the women led agribusinesses under the first cohort which is now open on all online channels of ADC and dfcu.