Businesswomen urged to partner, embrace technology

Some of the participants in the 2023 Rising Woman in Business mentorship program interact during a break on September 27, 2023. PHOTO/STEPHEN OTAGE 

What you need to know:

  • The women entrepreneurs, who write the best business plans and proposals, walk away with funding worth Shs15m. 

Women running businesses in Kampala have been advised to form partnerships which can scale up their businesses and also enable them acquire more capital and assets to grow the businesses.

Speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony for the last leg of 2023 Rising Woman In Business mentorship series that have been taking place around different parts of the country, Ms Ruth Asasira, the manager of Rising Women in Business project which is in partnership with dfcu Bank, told the Kampala business women to form partnerships with trusted partners who are ready to tap into writing business proposals that can attract more financing and investment opportunities.

“You should endeavour to create networks, understand the importance of partnerships and selecting the right partners, who can help you with proposal writing, which gives you exposure to writing better business plans which can give you access to asset financing or capital investment,” she said.

She added that through such networks and collaborations, it becomes easy for dfcu Bank to finance women-owned businesses through group accounts, investment clubs, and smart club accounts, which have special interest rates. 

She said through them, they can pool resources and access other financial markets such as treasury bills, bonds and fixed deposits.

Yesterday, dfcu Bank, Nation Media Group (NMG) and Uganda Investment Authority opened the last and final 2023 Rising Woman in Business mentorship programme in Kampala and it ends today. 

The mentorship series that has been taking place in different parts of the country, is a platform for Ugandan women in business to grow to greater heights, showcase women-owned businesses through media advertising and profiling, and provide financing solutions that meet their needs while negating the phobia of borrowing among women in business.

The businesses, most of which are in their growth stages, should be engaged in sectors such as education health manufacturing, ICT, agriculture, trade, infrastructure and energy. 

The women entrepreneurs, who write the best business plans and proposals, walk away with funding worth Shs15m. 

The runner-up bags Shs10m and the third winner walks away with Shs5m from dfcu Bank. They are also sponsored for a benchmarking tour of bigger companies within the region that have been operating in their sectors to pick best practices for success.

Ms Elizabeth Namaganda, the head of marketing at NMG-Uganda, said the proposal writing competition goes on until end of October, but even if other participants do not win the ultimate prize, they will be able to access funding, which may not be a grant but a debt at a preferential lending rate. 

All the more than 1,000 businesses that participated in this year’s mentorship series will participate in the Rising Woman in Business Expo taking place on November 24 and 25 at Lugogo UMA Showgrounds in Kampala. 

According to the Gender ministry, the prevalence of FGM reduced from 1.4 percent in 2011 to 0.3 percent in 2016 at national level under the partnership.
However, the ministry says prevalence within the practicing regions of Karamoja and Sebei is still on an average of 50 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
In 2010, Uganda enacted a law criminalising FGM although practicing communities prefer to conduct it in hard to reach and isolated areas, while others crossover to Kenya where the law is still weak against the practice.