EU rolls out EU-funded Program to Promote Green Businesses in Uganda

Mr Eddie Sembatya team lead UGEFA

Green businesses in Uganda are being urged to apply to an accelerator programme that offers free finance-focused workshops and discounted loans to help them scale up.

The Ugandan Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator (UGEFA) is looking to help high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises that specialise in eco-tourism, clean energy, sustainable transport, waste management and green manufacturing.

Others are agro-processing, turning raw crops in finished products like textiles and dried fruit.

Applications to join UGEFA’s accelerator programme opened on Monday, 04 October 2021.

During the six-month programme, successful applicants will receive customised business development support from expert advisors.

This tailored scheme incudes capacity building workshops and peer learning, delivered by implementation partners, adelphi and Finding XY.

After graduating from the Catalyser programme, enterprises are matched with banking partners. If they prove to be investible they are provided loans, 33% of which is covered by UGEFA, through funding from the European Union.

According to the Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy, an economy which considers people and planet, as well as profit, can boost GDP by 10 per cent and create four million jobs two decades from now.

This will require significant investment, however, with US$11 billion needed by 2024. Overcoming current funding barriers is critical to unlocking the country’s green economy. UGEFA will help eligible businesses ensure they meet the requirements of lenders so they can get access to the money they need to grow.

Businesses that are eligible can receive support through the application process during application clinics – improving their business plans and ensuring they have necessary financial documentation.

They will also provide networking opportunities with peers and business advisors and ensure that enterprises gain a comprehensive understanding of the loan application process.

Commenting on the latest call for applications, adelphi Executive Board Member Rainer Agster said: “There is huge potential to build a more sustainable economy in Uganda. Both the public and private sector want to make sure they look after the country’s natural resources, on which so many Ugandans are dependent for a living. We want to encourage this shift, alongside our excellent supporting partners.”

Finding XY’s Programme Lead Eddie Sembatya added: “The level of ingenuity among Uganda’s green entrepreneurs is second to none. We need to maximise their impact and that is why we are urging eligible businesses to submit applications to the programme and help transform Uganda’s business landscape.”

Head of Sustainable Development at the European Union Delegation to Uganda, Nadia Cannata said: “We are excited to extend the reach of the European Green Deal to support creative sustainability entrepreneurs across Uganda.”