The Trade Minister, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, has lauded the Rising Woman initiative, saying it is vital in the elevation of women.
“We are in a global race and so there is need to back women who strive,” Ms Kyambadde said during the award ceremony of season two winners of the Rising Woman in Kampala on Friday night.
Ms Kyambadde said the women, who account for the majority population in Uganda, were the engines of development.
She lauded the sponsors of the Rising Woman for the campaign saying it provided a platform for the women in Uganda to grow themselves.
Rising Woman, organised by Monitor Publications Ltd (MPL) and sponsored by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and dfcu Bank, saw 10 winners earn an all-expenses paid trip to Kenya, while the top three women scooped a total of Shs30 million.
The best proposal writer, Ms Sandra Ejang, got Shs15 million, second best Eva Birungi got Shs10 million and the third best Grace Oloya got Shs5 million.
Mr Tony Glencross, the managing director of Nation Media Group in Uganda, MPL’s parent company, urged the winners to stay focused as a key pillar for successful businesses.
Held under the theme, ‘Taking your business ahead,’ this year’s four-month long initiative registered a 30 per cent growth, with more than 16,000 participants.
These came from the four regions of western, eastern, northern and central Uganda. In the regions, sponsors trained and equipped women in areas of financial literacy and how to grow their businesses.
This was then followed by a two-day business expo organised at Hotel Africana in Kampala to allow women traders exhibit and sell their items.
The competition was rolled out countrywide with a call for business proposals and more than 150 written proposals were received. These were then subjected to three stage selection process.
Steered by an independent audit firm, Ssejjaaka, Kaawaase and Company, these were subjected to a three-stage evaluation process.
The first stage saw these distilled to 56 firms as those dropped were non-registered and or lacked relevance. At the second stage, the 56 were also closely scrutinised and reduced to only 20. This stage zeroed in on the business opportunity, vision, objective and resource projections each proposal held and how plausible these were.
The final 20 ladies were tasked to verbally define, justify and defend their proposals before a five-member independent panel that was chaired by Mr Twaha Kaawaasi of the Ssejjaaka, Kaawaasi and Company. The panel also comprised members from dfcu Bank, UIA and the Monitor Publications Ltd.
This saw top 10 women get an all-expenses paid trip to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where they will meet influential women.
The women will be expected to, among other things, undergo training purposed to enhance their entrepreneurial skills, sharpen their business ideas and gain business mentorship.