The 3rd of November, the first edition of the E4Impact Accelerator in Uganda was launched. The first cohort is composed of fifteen enterprises that, following a rigorous competitive process, were drawn from the Agri-food, Manufacturing, Fashion & Design, Green & Renewable Energy as well as Tech-oriented Sectors. As members of the E4Impact Accelerator, now they have the opportunity to take advantage of the attractive package that comes with the program: customized training programs, market linkages, mentorship and coaching, investor linkages as well as regional presence and brand visibility.
This initiative wants to replicate the service offered in Kenya, where, since 2018, the E4Impact Accelerator provides Kenyan startups a premium acceleration experience with the aim of growing their enterprises and scaling impact, through facilitating investment and linkages to regional and international markets.
At the launch event in Kampala, several stakeholders were hosted and the Italian Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Massimiliano Mazzanti officiated the ceremony. As board member in the Sustainable Business for Uganda (Sb4U) forum, he asserted that E4Impact Cohort perfectly reflects the key sectors they are focusing on in their drive of creating and growing strong business partnership between the European Union and Uganda.
He singled out Italy as it was ranked first within the EU, having imported 25% of Uganda’s export in 2021: the country, therefore, is a key partner in trade with Uganda. In addition, Italy has over 6 million small and medium enterprises and has continuously used acceleration programs to grow them. He affirmed the need for initiatives such as the E4Impact Acceleration program, geared towards developing and growing enterprises in major sectors and ensuring that these enterprises are bankable businesses to trade within the East African region and in the European Union. The ambassador was pleased to hear from the entrepreneurs their social and environmental impact solutions and he is willing to identify further synergies between Uganda, Italy and the EU at large by sharing partnership opportunities where the entrepreneurs can accelerate their growth and scale their impact.
The launch saw the attendance of another key stakeholder: the Uganda Martrys University (UMU) Vice Chancellor, Professor Patrick Edrin Kyamanywa. He delivered his gratitude as a recent entrant into the E4Impact Foundation’s Strategic Steering Committee elected by the members of the E4Impact Alliance. He spoke about the E4Impact MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship program offered at UMU in collaboration with ALTIS, Graduate School of Business & Society of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC), as well as the underway PHD programs. He pointed out that entrepreneurial knowledge and skills are key to Uganda’s economy: this has led the University to introduce a mandatory entrepreneurship course for all programs that are delivered across all faculties. He concluded by lauding the selected cohort and emphasized their need to leverage on the action-oriented training methodology used by E4Impact from which they will largely benefit.
The E4Impact MBA Alumni led by Mr. Joseph Nkandu (founder of NUCAFE) also attended the event to share their experience during and after the course of their program. Their engagement with trained professionals experienced in working with global successful companies encouraged and taught them to strengthen their business models, how to pitch and structure their value proposition as well as how to scale their enterprises.
After the launch event, the Uganda Accelerator Cohort 1.0 Boot Camp started: the participating members had the opportunity to give introductory remarks about who they are, their motivation and their vision as individuals. This was followed to the Cohort being introduced to the topic “Designing of the Business Model” by the E4Impact Accelerator Manager Ms. Isabella Tenai.
Working on the Business Model Canvas allows an enterprise to design, test and rapidly make changes through involving customers. Afterwards, Felix Idraku, the Business Coach and Program Leader in Uganda, held the session on the Value Proposition Canvas, asking the members to develop in groups their value proposition Design. Customer segments, customer relationships and distribution channels economics in the Business Model Design were the topics addressed on the last day of the Boot Camp. The Cohort also went through a plenary session on distribution channels and channel economics. Feedback forms were shared for the enterprises to report on their experience and many lauded the practical activity sessions.
We are thankful to SpeSalvi Foundation, which is funding the E4Impact Accelerator in Uganda, and to the vast number of people who made the Launch event and the Boot Camp a success. E4Impact is glad to invite the Cohort members to be part of a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem in Uganda and to prepare them to be a competitive and bankable business in the national, regional and international arena.