UNCDF to pilot project that links entrepreneurs to investors  

The platform builds on a 2020 survey of Ugandan SMEs conducted by UNCDF, which highlighted the importance of access to finance for sustainable economic growth. Photo | file 

What you need to know:

Agora is a digital pathway that seeks to serve as a global public good by scaling up the sourcing of new investment lead opportunities in frontier, emerging and developing economies, such as Uganda 

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has launched a platform that will open new investment opportunities and foster opportunities for growth through facilitating connections between entrepreneurs and investors. 

The platform, known as Agora, which will be piloted in two countries, including Uganda, seeks to among others highlight the importance of access to affordable finance for sustainable economic development, especially for SMEs in value addition, agroindustry and manufacturing. 

Agora is a digital pathway that seeks to serve as a global public good by scaling up the sourcing of new investment lead opportunities in frontier, emerging and developing economies, such as Uganda. 

Mr Dmitry Pozhidaev, the UNCDF country head, said Ugandan-based entrepreneurs and business owners in need of financing were free to seize the by registering on the platform.

“Through putting entrepreneurs in position to connect with investors and other actors in the capital markets, we believe that Agora will provide a much-needed and long overdue opportunity for local businesses to partake in the global financing arena.”

The platform builds on a 2020 survey of Ugandan SMEs conducted by UNCDF with support from the European Union, Ministry of Trade, Uganda Revenue Authority, Makerere University, which highlighted the importance of access to finance for sustainable economic development. 

The pilot project, which will come ahead of the globe launch by the end of this year, will be supported by the Ministry of Finance, Private Sector Foundation of Uganda and Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. 

Mr Xavier Michon, the UNCDF deputy executive secretary, said whereas there are many entrepreneurs and businesses that are ready to acquire the necessary financing to grow their businesses, the only obstacle in the way is the market they happen to be operating in. 

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