The global debate surrounding fostering an environment that nurtures sustainable innovation, research and development by starts up is slowly gaining momentum as discussions shift towards policy and government support of the startup ecosystem through legislation.
Italy took the helm on this movement when they passed the first specific startup law back in 2012. Since then a number of African countries like Tunisia and Senegal followed suit.
Following the disruption that the COVID-19 global pandemic caused, African states like Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, DRC, Kenya and Rwanda are on the verge of implementation whilst some have had fruitful consultations that have resulted in Bills being tabled in parliament.
The question then is what does a Startup Act mean for the Ugandan Startup ecosystem?
At the core of the startup ecosystem are innovation hubs and entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). In February 2019, a larger group of start-up hubs and ESOs agreed upon the formation of Startup Uganda (SU) as an association of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support Organizations (IESO) working towards strengthening the start-up support ecosystem and sector. With the support of UNCDF, the association has achieved real progress, with more than twenty members some of whom are exhibiting at the first virtual edition of the Kampala Innovation Week.
The objective of Kampala Innovation Week is to raise Uganda’s profile in the startup space by providing visibility to startup entrepreneurs, attracting investors and developing global partnerships.
At a time when the establishment of a Startup Act seems quite pertinent to the ecosystem, it is appropriate that one of the sessions happening during the KIW 2020 happening November 26th to 28th is a Panel discussion on “The Path towards a Startup Act for Uganda” featuring Startup Uganda Chairperson Richard Zulu and John Walugembe Executive Director, Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises moderated by Badru Ntege, CEO and Co-Founder NFT Consult. The panel discussion will address touch points like investment, financing, harmonizing innovation hub and ESOS programs, policy, legislation and so much more.
Other sessions that will happen over the course of the 3 day event include:
Banking on SMEs for an Inclusive, Resilient Economy in Uganda.
Rethinking the Approach to Start-up Financing.
An Ecosystem Approach to Fostering the Resilience and Recovery of the Ugandan Entrepreneur.
Building pandemic resilience for business
Interested attendees can register at www.kiw.ug to attend and also be able to network, engage with the speakers, stream live sessions by downloading the official event mobile app supported by WHOVA on google play or app store.
The Kampala Innovation Week 2020 is powered by organized by Startup Uganda in partnership with UNCDF & is sponsored by ITC, UGEFA, Enabel, MoTIV, Liquid Telecom, Response Innovation Lab, Talent Africa Group & NBS Television.