Startup financing Uganda launches country wide innovation week

Startup financing has called upon Ugandan innovators and entrepreneurs to discuss strategies through which they can create strong linkages to finance and develop innovations into viable and market enterprises hence boosting a strong Uganda ecosystem.  #WhisperEyeNews

The three-day event will identify some of these missing links and facilitate conversations on possible ways to eradicate these issues. One track will focus on links between academia and industry and highlight how a strong connection between the two has enabled startup ecosystems worldwide to thrive and progress.

The discussions, which are expected to take place during the Uganda Innovation Week in November, will be key in changing the startup ecosystem, which continues to face a number of challenges such as lack of financing. 

Dennis Guma, the Uganda Innovation Week chairperson, said despite the growth of startups, there are still several gaps to bridge in order to augment the development of viable enterprises and the ability of relevant stakeholders. “One track will focus on links between academia and industry and highlight how a strong connection between the two has enabled startup ecosystems worldwide to thrive and progress,” he said, noting that another track will highlight some of the current gaps in women’s entrepreneurship.

Jean K. Makki, the Startup Uganda vice chairperson, said whereas Uganda’s innovation landscape had for a long time concentrated in Kampala, it now stretches far and beyond.“The country’s innovation landscape stretches far beyond just the city of Kampala, and we thought it was high-time the innovation week actively recognized that,” Makki added.

Makki further added that the event intends to get startup ecosystem stakeholders from all across the country involved in the crucial discussions we will be having at Uganda Innovation Week, and this move towards inclusivity will assist with that agenda.

The re-brand to UIW represents an active effort to include startup ecosystem stakeholders from across the country in conversations on the future of entrepreneurship in Uganda.

The context for such discussions will improve to include factors specific to entrepreneurs in some of the more rural areas, such as internet connectivity, access to infrastructure, and more.

As implied by the 2022 theme, despite the growth of the startup ecosystem in Uganda, there are still several gaps to bridge in order to augment the development of viable, market-ready enterprises and the ability of relevant stakeholders to support said enterprises adequately.

Another track will highlight some of the current gaps in women’s entrepreneurship, such as the fact that despite recent statistics highlighting women as the larger percentage of entrepreneurs in the country, the number of women-owned businesses that scale up or attract funding remains significantly low. The final track will explore the missing links in investment and financing for entrepreneurs.

UIW 2022 is proud to announce key partners including The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as platinum partners and in the gold category, The International Trade Center (ITC) and Village Capital. We remain open to onboarding more partners.

The event is set to feature panel discussions, workshops, and master classes where startup ecosystem stakeholders can contribute to theme conversations and evening fireside events that will allow for peer engagement, partnership formation, and networking.

The best and brightest in the Ugandan startup space will also feature, with a dedicated exhibition space running on all three event days. The event agenda will also include report and program launches all geared towards identifying and providing solutions to the missing links within Uganda’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In the spirit of reaching entrepreneurs outside of the capital city, Startup Uganda is running a video challenge, #iInnovateBecause that will allow shortlisted entrepreneurs from across the country to attend the event in person and engage with different thought leaders, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs.

The event will also feature the Startup Uganda annual awards, which recognize the most innovative startups in 2022, nominated and voted by the public. Nominations for the best startups in health, education, creative industries, technology, agriculture, the best university innovation, and the leading support enterprises are officially open.

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