The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), dfcu Bank (Women in Business Programme) and Daily Monitor (Nation Media Group) have launched the Second Edition of the Rising Woman Initiative.
The Rising Woman Initiative, which was started last year, is meant to recognise, celebrate and promote a culture of mentorship among women in business in Uganda.
It targets Ugandan business women of all shades, including small and medium investors, entrepreneurs, members of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL), members of Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) and Uganda Manufacturers Association.
A call will be made for women entrepreneurs – micro, small and big – to submit business proposals. From the pool of applicants, 20 finalists will be shortlisted who will then compete to be among 10 winners, all of whom will be given cash prices in addition to other benefits like business trips and mentorship for one year.
Speaking at the launch at the dfcu Bank headquarters in Kampala, UIA’s Director for Investment Promotion and Development, Sheila Karungi Mugyenzi, described the tripartite partnership as “one made in heaven” stressing that the partnership is able to provide tailor-made services to women in business.
Mugyenzi reported that during the Rising Woman Season 1, UIA registered great impact and covered more in training and skilling women in business. She said two major challenges women in business face are how to make their business competitive and how to access affordable financing.
Mugyenzi said UIA is looking forward to Rising Woman Season 2 to ensure women in business are taken to a new level, adding that “we’re looking forward to another successful season”.
UIA’s Ida Rwego reported that although UIA targeted 100 women in business per training session, over 200 turned up, indicating popularity of the initiative.
The Chief Executive Officer of dfcu Bank Mathias Katamba said the initiative is a fundamental step on the path to creating a financially enabling environment for female entrepreneurs”.
Katamba said despite women making up to over 52 percent of the population of Uganda, it is not reflected in the ratio of women who have access to financial services.
Johnson Omolo, the General Manager of NTV Uganda, who represented Nation Media Group, the owners of Daily Monitor, said as media house they have a critical role to play in society by providing a platform through which ideas that are geared towards improving the lives of people in different spheres of life.
The winner in Season 1, Linnet Akol of Krystal Ice Limited, said the Rising Woman Initiative has propelled her business to greater heights. The third runner up, Sandra Nakayenze, said the initiative elevated her from Sironko to national limelight.
Cordia Stellah Rachel, the proprietor of Areg Bio, who emerged sixth, said the business tour to Nairobi transformed her into a better business woman, adding that she immediately acquired an investment license with UIA.
A call for proposal will be put out in the media for business women to write proposals showing how they want to grow or improve their businesses and how their businesses will impact the community.