By Our Reporter
KAMPALA: As Women celebrate the International Women’s Day, it’s remarkable that last Friday (3rd March 2023), 28 women Agribusiness entrepreneurs graduated from the first cohort Business Accelerator Program (BAP) implemented by Agribusiness Development Centre and powered by dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation, dfcu said in a release. The ceremony was held at dfcu Bank’s Head Offices in Nakasero.
- Agribusiness Development Centre powered by dfcu Limited and Rabo foundation held their 1st cohort graduation.
- This four-month long Agribusiness training was aimed at empowering women led agribusinesses in Uganda to promote their bankability and self-sustainability.
- 28 entrepreneurs have graduated from this program and are being followed up for market and financial linkages to trigger their growth.
Launched last year, 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 and enable them to grow and create new jobs. During the training, the women entrepreneurs of the first cohort were exposed to different aspects of business management from, Business Canvas Modelling, Governance, Risk Management, Marketing, Financial Management, Financier’s requirements and much more.
Speaking at the award event, Josephine Mukumbya, Executive Director, ADC, said the participants were engaged in exposure visits like the Trans African summit that was organized by Women Economic Forum with the aim of showcasing their products to a wider market (African) and enabling wider networking. They were also exposed to field visits at CURAD 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.
“A multi-dimensional approach entailing a combination of training, self-paced learning, mentoring, and exposure visits was used for the program. I wish to congratulate each of you for your resilience and commitment to this day,” she said.
In a bid to expose the women to more business opportunities across the borders, different regulators were also invited to sensitize the entrepreneurs to encourage legal and regulatory compliance.
Mr Robert Wanok, Ag. Chief Commercial Officer of dfcu Bank reiterated the Bank’s commitment to women economic emancipation and enterprise development.
“As an enabler of socioeconomic transformation, supporting women entrepreneurs and agribusiness development is paramount. This first cohort inspired the launch of 2 more cohorts and because of this, we are proud of the journey so far and are confident of the future. Because of your collective achievements, you have paved a way for more women to benefit from the program,” he said.
“Our goal is to empower more women involved in the entire agribusiness value chain and we do this by partnering with like-minded individuals, organisations, and government to deliver on our commitment to transform lives and communities,”
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).