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Women Agribusinesses graduate from four-month long Business Accelerator Program facilitated by the Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC)



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Women Agribusinesses graduate from four-month long Business AcceleratorProgram facilitated by the Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC).

• Agribusiness Development Centre powered by dfcuLimited and Rabo Foundation was founded to promote bankability and self-sustainability of Agribusinesses in Uganda.

• The Business Accelerator Program’s objective is to train 350 agribusinesses (40% women led), link at least 50% of them to financing and or markets, to grow and createnew jobs.

• In Cohort one, 33 enterprises were recruited in October 2022 and exposed to a hybrid of virtual and physical class arrangements to aspects like Business Canvas Modeling, Governance, Risk Management, Marketing, Financial Management, Financier’s requirements e.t.c… They were taken through sessions with bodies that support legal and regulatory compliance like URSB, URA, UNBS and UIA and some of them were learning about these entities’ roles in their businesses for the first time.

• 21 of them were able to conclude the training and work on their investor documents for pitching to a panel of judges, comprising of dfcu and other financiers. The purpose remains to facilitate linkage to finance andreceive feedback on aspects they need to continue to work on.  Six of the enterprises that pitched are already being closely followed up for financing and the rest shall be followed up even beyond the program to close out any gaps that curtail successful linkages. 

The participants were engaged in exposure visits like Trans African summit that was organized by Women Economic Forum with the aim of showcasing their products to a wider market (African) and enable wider networking. They were also exposed to field visits atCURAD and Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) to expose them to the services that can be used to build capacity and add value to their products.

Since inception of the program, dfcu Bank has shown great commitment to the women in agribusiness and has gone ahead to develop agricultural products to facilitate and consider women entrepreneurs. dfcu through Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC) has directly supported farmer communities through tailored Agri-products and put in place strategies through its affiliates to de-risk agriculture and make it an attractive enterprise across the country.

According to Josephine Mukumbya, Executive Director, ADC, a multi-dimensional approach entailing a combination of training, self-paced learning, mentoring and exposure visits was used for the program and we note that we have more than 50% of the enterprises get Certificates. At the same time, she noted that a follow up monitoring program is underway to facilitate linkages for more participants. She thanked the participants for availing both time and other resources to improve their businesses.

ADC’s mandate of capacity building of agribusinesses to bankability and self-sufficiency for enhanced incomes and job creation is well aligned to the National Development Plan, and dfcu’s vision to transform lives and businesses through innovative solutions and empowering people which contribute to the four key pillars and objectives of National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), one of which is: “Reduce Financial Exclusion and Access Barriers to Finance.”

Since inception, dfcu Bank has shown great commitment to Women in Business and the Agricultural sector to foster growth in the sector. It has directly supported farmer communities through tailored Agri-products and put in place strategies through its affiliates to de-risk agricultureand make it an attractive enterprise across the country.

Speaking during the ceremony, Robert Wanok, Ag. Chief Commercial Officer of dfcu Bank reiterated the Bank’s commitment to women economic emancipation and enterprise development.

“There is no Uganda without Agriculture and SMEs, it is our backbone as a country. Combining agriculture andwomen economic empowerment is a magic pill that will transform economic prosperity nationwide. As dfcu Bank, we have been advantaged to see the transformational power of entrepreneurship in this country over the years. Since our inception, we have stayed true to our ‘Mission of making more Possible’ for our communities and over the years, history has taught us to invest in our communities and provide solutions that meet the days’ demands,” he said.

The above makes a case for continued capacity development of enterprises especially agribusinesses for bankability, growth and as such job creation, which is what the Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC) powered by dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation are doing by targeting small and medium Agribusinesses (40% of which women led).

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