Muppets to Gazelles is a project that started in 2014 run by Eindhoven University of Technology with support from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Makerere Business School (MUBS) and Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL). It is aimed at exploring options of promoting Uganda’s rural female entrepreneurship by addressing the factors that constrain the growth potential of the female entrepreneurs in rural areas.
In a knowledge sharing workshop organized by UIA to discuss the use and adoption of ICT by rural female entrepreneurs at Essela Country Hotel in Najeera Wakiso district, the project coordinator Rebecca Kiconco argued the rural women to take up the mantle of upbringing the male gender to support their female counterparts in setting up and maintaining a business in future.
Mr. Basil Ajer, the UIA Director in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises informed the people that the project is currently in two districts namely; Nakaseke and Mpigi districts. “This project looked at the key challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs i.e. information asymmetry and business formalization challenge. We came up with an ICT base support system in the Nakaseke Telecentre which allows easy communication between farmers and buyers. In this basic system, a farmer is able to post the quantity, price and variety of a given product. On the other side, the buyer is also able to locate what he/she is looking for.” He said
Ms. Madina Guloba the assistant Economic Eesearcher at Makerere University believed that women need to be taught first before they engage in such programs because about 70% of the women in rural areas are uneducated.
Mrs. Olive Kigongo, a UIA Board member was the guest of honor represented by Mr. Martin Otim from Uganda National Chamber of Commerce. In her written speech, she informed the people that this project is special because it targets the rural women. “Over the years, government has made a top priority to include women in the social economic transformation.” She said.
She informed the people that UIA will continue to have a strong focus on building a robust small and medium enterprises to unleash, promote and nurture domestic entrepreneurs and investors all around the country.