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Entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking Economic Development on the continent

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Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation and  Chairman, UBA, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu and The President, Republic of Ghana, Dr, Nana Akufo- Addo, at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum 2018 held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation and  Chairman, UBA, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu and The President, Republic of Ghana, Dr, Nana Akufo- Addo, at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum 2018 held in Lagos, Nigeria.

By Our Reporter

African entrepreneurs, private and public sector leaders and the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem convened in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday last week for the annual Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum. The event which is the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs in the world, is a unique opportunity for bringing together young business talent, creating dynamic networks and transmitting the message to policymakers that a vibrant and responsible private sector will deliver economic transformation.

Now in its fourth year, the Forum marked the graduation of the 2018 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, following a rigorous nine-month period of training, mentorship and funding, which brought the total number of beneficiaries of the programme to 4,470, with over 300,000 applications received to date. Uganda this  year had 126 successful applicants.

One of the highlights was the unveiling of TEFConnect, a revolutionary digital community that brings together the complete entrepreneurship ecosystem across Africa and beyond, including entrepreneurs, investors and the broader business community on one platform, connecting them digitally with three vital elements for success – capital, market and business tools. Africa is riding a wave of rapid technological driven change in payment systems, education, agriculture and infrastructure and TEFConnect fulfills a critical role in linking entrepreneurs across the continent.

Commencing with a series of goodwill messages from key stakeholders in the investment, governmental and development communities, the event featured a pitching competition, panel discussions, as well as a vibrant interactive session between His Excellency, President Nana Akufo-Addo and the entrepreneurs, moderated by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu. It also featured a session on the role of the private sector in the economic development of Africa with Dr. Awele Elumelu, TEF Trustee, Founder, Avon Medical and Gavi Champion for Immunisation in Africa; moderated by CNNMoney Africa Correspondent, Eleni Giokos.

Parminder Vir, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation also unveiled the TEF Impact Documentary, featuring success stories of the Tony Elumeluu Entrepreneurs.

Tony Elumelu reiterated his commitment to championing Africa’s economic development by supporting and training a new generation of entrepreneurs, whose successes can transform the continent, delivering opportunity, job creation and social impact. ‘Africa’s future is in African hands’ he stated.

“Our Foundation and its unique approach of training, mentoring and funding has proven that entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking economic transformation of our continent. I believe so strongly that success can be democratized and if we can match ambition to opportunities, this extraordinary generation can achieve anything,” said Tony Elumelu. “With TEFConnect, we have created a tool, that provides a digital platform to host ideas, champion success and demonstrate Africans ability to use the most advanced technologies to take charge of their economic destinies.”

His Excellency, President Nana Akudo-Addo of Ghana underlined the importance of galvanizing the broad entrepreneurship eco-system, calling on public sector representatives to encourage, support and replicate the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in their respective regions.

Speaking on the importance of putting the right policies in place, President Nana Akufo-Addo said: “Nothing is changed or developed on its own. People must get up, speak, have discussions and change the dialogue.”

Since its inception, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has empowered African entrepreneurs across the continent with a $5,000 non-refundable seed grant, a bespoke training programme designed specifically for the African environment and access to a dedicated group of mentors, significantly contributing to economic growth, job creation and revenue generation. Over 300 budding Ugandan entrepreneurs have benefited from the programme.

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Local Business

Over 400 Kampala women entrepreneurs undergo business training

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Businesswomen at the dfcu Bank Rising Woman Initiative training in Kampala.

By Our Reporter

Over 400 women entrepreneurs have benefited from a business training in Kampala organised by dfcu bank in partnership with Daily Monitor and Uganda Investment Authority. This marks the climax of a series of Business trainings that have been running across the country under the Rising Woman Initiative regional tours in Western – Ishaka, Eastern – Mbale, Northern – Gulu and Central Kampala mentoring women in business in fields such as business basics, business planning and enterprise management skills (Marketing skills, Communication, Recordkeeping and finance. A total of of over 1,200 women have benefited from these trainings. This brings to 2,700 the number of women who have been trained under the Rising Woman Initiative that’s currently in its second year.

The initiative is aimed at recognising and rewarding a culture of mentorship among women in Business in Uganda. This initiative is running for a second consecutive year will see over 100 women showcasing their products and services at an Expo that has been organised for Friday 15th and Saturday 16th November 2019 at Hotel Africana starting at 9:00 am.

The Expo is a culmination of the 2019 Rising Woman Initiative launched on June 19th 2019. The 2019 Expo will provide an opportunity for women-owned business and entrepreneurs to share knowledge and move their business forward. Over 200 exhibitors and attendees are expected to attend the two-day Expo. The women entrepreneurs have also been offered an opportunity for their businesses to be profiled and advertising space in selected media.

According to Victoria Byenkya Head of Women in Business program at dfcu, women-led businesses often fail due to diverse challenges but on top of the list is lack of information, financial constraints, social barriers and skill set gaps. Through these trainings, these gaps are being bridged at a free cost thereby working at creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs to flourish.

Joan Akumu who runs a confectionary business said “Marketing has always been my challenge since I am a sole entrepreneur. I do my work from home and I have to market it myself. This training has exposed me to better practices and I believe I will stand out once I implement this knowledge.”

According to Esther Kisaakye a Health and Nutritionist Marketer, who attended the training, it’s easy to forget the most essential things when running a business. “This training has reminded me and I have also learnt the business principles that I need to take my business forward. I enjoyed the training especially the part about the 7P of business.”

As part of the initiative, over 95 businesswomen participated in proposal writing. The top 3 winners will win UGX 15 million, 10 million and 5 million respectively and the overall top 10 will take part in an all-expense paid study tour to Nairobi.

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Local Business

MTN Foundation hands over blood storage equipment to Mbarara Regional Blood Bank

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By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda Foundation has officially handed over blood storage equipment to the Mbarara Regional blood bank under the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS). This is in a bid to address the issue of blood shortage arising from inadequate blood storage equipment.

The state-of-the-art blood refrigerator was handed over to the Parliamentary Woman Representative for Mbarara Municipality, Hon. Rosette Kajungu Mutambi in a ceremony held on Thursday at the Mbarara Regional Blood Bank in Mbarara district.

This follows the telecom company’s pledge in July when it availed UGX. 347 million to procure the equipment that comprises of an automated plasma extractor and 3 blood refrigerators. The automated plasma extractor that will be stationed at the Nakasero Blood Bank will be used for the processing of blood plasma to extract components of red and white blood cells, and platelets for the Nakasero blood bank.

The three refrigerators will be delivered to the regional blood banks based at the regional referral hospitals in Mbarara, Mbale and Arua.

While handing over the equipment, Mr. Bryan Mbasa, the Acting Senior Manager, MTN Foundation reiterated MTN Uganda’s commitment to supporting government’s push towards meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.

“We are proud of this partnership with the UBTS and the Ministry of Health in complementing their efforts to make available this scarce resource of blood,” Mr. Mbasa said.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Dr. Andrew Byamungu, the principal Medical Officer at the Mbarara Regional Blood Bank noted that the refrigerators will address the issue of blood shortage that has been arising from inadequate storage facilities.

“In the past, we have been losing a lot of blood because of lack of adequate storage but that will no longer be an issue. We thank MTN for this refrigerator because it will enable us store blood and avail it to the hospital whenever they need it,” Dr. Byamungu said.

According to Byamungu, the Mbarara Regional blood bank serves 62 hospitals in sixteen districts in the western region of the country. He explains that blood is mostly consumed by anaemic children aged below five years, mothers after delivery, accident victims and other patients.

Mr. Gilbert Sande, the Head of Logistics at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services said that with the new refrigerator donated by the MTN Foundation, Mbarara regional blood bank will be able to store more than twice the amount of blood they have been storing.

“We had storage capacity of 300 units. But now with the new refrigerator that stores over 700 units, we shall be able to have over 1000 units of blood at any one time,” Mr. Sande

While receiving the equipment, Hon. Kajungu thanked the MTN Foundation for working together with the government for the good of the people of Uganda.

“Thank you MTN Foundation Uganda for this equipment. It will go a long way in addressing the blood shortage issues that arise from lack of adequate storage of donated blood to save lives,” Hon. Kajungu said. “The MTN Foundation has shown its passion for maternal health. By supporting safe blood storage, more mothers will be saved since more blood will be available, thanks to this initiative.”

Mbarara becomes the first regional blood bank to receive its equipment. Arua and Mbale are set to receive theirs in due course.

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Local Business

Boda Boda riders tipped on Road Safety

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By Our Reporter

As part of their safety agenda, Uganda Breweries Limited has trained Boda Boda riders in road safety awareness.

The training program conducted at the brewery in Luzira saw over 50 boda boda cyclists from the boda stages in Luzira receive training on road safety practices and given measures that will help keep them, their passengers and other road users safe on the road.

The safety training is part of a celebration to mark seven and twelve years of “No Lost Time Accident” at Uganda Breweries Limited and its spirits plant; International Distillers Uganda respectively.

An LTA (Lost Time Accident) is a type of accident that causes an employee to skip work for a day or more to pursue treatment. These kinds of accidents are common in places where heavy machinery is operated such as a brewery.
On average, Uganda loses 10 people every day in road traffic crashes, a 2018 UN road safety report on Uganda shows, costing the country $1.2 billion (about sh.4.4 trillion) annually.

According to the Uganda Police, over 50 percent of road accidents are caused due to boda bodas, with the highest numbers registered in urban centres like Kampala.

“We decided to carry out this training because road safety is an issue that affects all of us. As Uganda Breweries, we are firmly committed to ensuring that everybody that comes to our site goes home safe and we want to share these values with our community.” Joseph Kabwaama the UBL’s Health and Safety Manager said.

He added that they had started the campaign by training cyclists in Luzira because most of the UBL staff stay in the area and use boda bodas as a means of transport.

“We shall have more road safety awareness engagements around the country to increase road safety awareness and to help change boda boda cyclists attitude and behavior on the road, thereby indoctrinating a road safety culture among them.” Kabwaama added.

The boda boda cyclists who attended the training were urged to uphold safe practices and measures while using the road to ensure their own safety and that of their passengers.
They were also given safety gear that included helmets and reflector jacket and urged to always use the safety gear as it protects them from the dangers you face on the road daily.

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