At an event held last Friday, 3rd March 2023, 28 women Agribusiness entrepreneurs graduated from the 1st cohort Business Accelerator Program (BAP) implemented by Agribusiness Development Centre and powered by dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation. The ceremony was held at dfcu Bank’s Head Offices in Nakasero.
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 days back, Josephine Mukumbya, Executive Director, ADC, said the participants were engaged in exposure visits like the Trans-African summit that Women Economic Forum organized with the aim of showcasing their products to a broader 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 borders, different regulators were also invited to sensitize the entrepreneurs to encourage legal and regulatory compliance.
Speaking during the ceremony, 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 1st 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).