UDB partners with Resilient Africa Network for i-Growth Accelerator 2017 program

UDB partners with Resilient Africa Network for i-Growth Accelerator 2017 program

Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDB) has announced applications for the UDB i-Growth Accelerator 2017 program that will focus on supporting commercialization of local start-ups and stimulating a culture of innovation in Uganda so as to contribute to the country’s social economic development.

In partnership with the Resilient Africa Network (RAN Lab), UDB is rolling out this annual initiative that will support individuals to grow and expand their start-up enterprises in all sectors.

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For 2017, the Accelerator will focus on the Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors under the theme; ‘Towards a Smart and Sustainable Agricultural and Manufacturing Sector’.

The UDB i-growth Accelerator will identify, recognize and accelerate outstanding innovative start-ups in line with the proposed theme and will support them to commercialization.

The Challenge:

Agricultural production in Uganda is mainly dominated by smallholder farmers engaged in food and industrial crops, forestry, horticulture, fishing and livestock farming. The country is one of the leading producers of coffee and bananas in the World. It is also a major producer of tea, cotton, tobacco, cereals, livestock and fishing products among many others.

However the Agriculture sector experiences challenges such as adverse climate variability and most communities depend on subsistence agriculture. More so agricultural yields are meager and non-diversified (UNDP, 2007). The multiple stresses have risen from current climatic hazards, poverty and unequal access to resources, food insecurity, globalization trends (including impact of global financial crisis).

Due to unpredictable rain patterns, floods, prolonged dry spells, drought the agricultural methods employed are usually not effective to grow sufficient crops and raise livestock. Value addition to produce is low communities are stuck in a cycle of low productivity and skewed markets in which they have limited leverage.

The result is low income, pervasive poverty and no growth. We need to disrupt the status quo, and introduce creative and modern methods of farming, open markets for produce and promote bulking and value addition technologies.

Who can participate / Who is Eligible?

The call is open to interested applicants from diverse backgrounds who propose brilliant projects in relation to the theme. Submissions can be done in teams or individuals for example youth groups, community based organizations, vocational institutes, students, young entrepreneurs, NGOs, women groups, associations, SMEs etc. Projects should suggest transformative interventions or solutions. Applicants should note carefully that the suggested projects could be in form of ‘technologies’ or ‘approaches’. It should be a project with demonstrable proof of concept for the solution/approach an existing enterprise with at least 1 or 2 years of existence.

Additional Considerations

Successful projects should have the following additional attributes;

Scalability: the proposed solution should be scalable at different geographical scales preferably regional, national or sub-national and community level.

Job creation: Creation of employment opportunities is fundamental to the achievement of the vision 2040 overarching goal of Transforming ‘Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years. It is therefore important that the proposed solutions consider how they will create new employment opportunities.

Multi-sectoral collaboration: Participation of both the public and private sectors is fundamental or collaboration of multi-disciplinary sectors such as finance, water, energy and humanities will be an added advantage.

Environmental conservation: Increase yield while keeping the ecosystem green. Green energy to power production

Other aspects include; Originality of the idea, business/sustainability model, clear implementation plan, additional spin offs (your project provides more than one solution/ benefits to the users), cost effectiveness and competitive advantage of the solution.

Benefits to the winning teams:

Inclusion into UDB i-Growth Acceleration Program, where teams will receive:

Technical support, Mentorship and Business Coaching

Linkages to local, regional and international expertise and contacts

Financial support to develop and pilot the solution towards scaling

Linkages to potential investors and financiers

Application Procedure:

All applicants are required to apply online by filling the application template that can be accessed via: http://grants.ranlab.org

Application closes on January 25th, 2018.

For any inquiries, please contact us at: Resilient Africa Network (RAN); Plot 28, Upper Terrace Kololo Phone: +256-414 343 597 Email: info@ranlab.org

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