Season 5 of dfcu Bank’s Rising Woman initiative came to an end today with the announcement and award of the female entrepreneurs who emerged as the top 10 winners in the competition.
The top 10 were selected out of 23 finalists who faced a panel of select judges in a business proposal defence exercise.
Held in partnership with Monitor Publications and Uganda Investment Authority, the Rising Woman Initiative aims to recognize, celebrate, and promote a culture of mentorship among women in the business space in Uganda. As part of its roll-out, over 180 female entrepreneurs from across the country participated in a highly competitive business proposal submission exercise. In addition, hundreds of businesswomen received skilling in various areas, provided through the Rising Woman business caravans that travelled to 7 districts across the country.
This year, the Rising Woman campaign was held under the theme ‘Taking Your Business Ahead’, with an aim of providing female entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to improve how they operate their businesses; enabling them to create profitable operations.
Out of the 23 proposals that made it to the defence stage, APA Original Kisubi Tea LTD, HEBs Organic LTD and Prio Medical LTD – My Musawo APP emerged as the overall winners in the 3 categories of Agribusiness Value Addition, Manufacturing & Consumer Services and Digital Innovation & E-Commerce. Each of the winners won cash funding worth UGX 10,000,000/-. In addition, all the top 10 winners won a fully paid study tour to a location outside of Uganda.
The cross-border trip will double as an educational and mentorship exercise and will allow the entrepreneurs to meet and learn from other successful businesswomen outside Uganda. Mathias Katamba, CEO of dfcu Bank congratulated all the women entrepreneurs who made the bold move to participate in the competition.
“I would like to start by congratulating every entrepreneur who took the first step to participate in this competition. I am sure you have learnt a lot about how to take your businesses to the next level throughout the course of this competition and I believe you are all winners in one way or another. Congratulations!” he remarked.
“Our past Rising Woman seasons and our day-to-day interactions with women entrepreneurs have continually revealed to us that Ugandan businesswomen are innovative, creative, and ingenious in the way they start and conduct business. We have also learnt that they require support to transform their dreams to thriving businesses and we have done that through programs like Rising Woman. Working with the right partners such as Daily Monitor and Uganda Investment Authority has enabled us to reach more women with the skills and financial support required to grow their businesses.”
“dfcu Bank’s commitment to women-led business ventures started with the introduction of the dfcu Women in Business Program in 2018 that has to date, directly benefited over 60,000 women across the country. Our pledge today and for the future is that through our specialised products, services, and partnerships, we will continue to Make More Possible for Small and Medium Enterprises that are owned by women entrepreneurs,” Katamba concluded.
The event was graced by Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, former Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, and current Senior Presidential Advisor on Industry to the president of the Republic of Uganda. She applauded the organizers for giving women a platform to challenge and build their business muscle.
“Women are a powerful resource in this country. We make up the largest population and are very entrepreneurial. Africa leads the world in terms of women in business. Men might have bigger businesses, but women have also woken up and run bigger businesses. Sometimes when you see some of these projects you realize that those who have no voice are frustrated but such projects like the Rising woman give voice to the voiceless. This is for us women; it is our platform!” she said.
“My appeal to the winners today is, “Don’t think about Uganda only, think regional and globall.
I run a few businesses and failed because I did not have a proper business plan. I urge you to give planning ample time. Additionally, always stay informed because information is power. Use the internet to get information about the world, about the finances. As I conclude, I ask you to think harder, think about yourselff and how you want your legacy to look like, rebrand yourself where necessary and think beyond the horizon for the good of your business,” she advised.
Ruth Asasira, the Manger Women in Business & Special Programs at dfcu Bank noted that since the launch of the Initiative in February of this year, “…we have directly interfaced with and trained over 5,000 women across the country in a bid to provide solutions to the issues they face as participants in the country’s informal sector.”
“Through this program, we hope to see challenges such as limited access to finance, markets, and business skills become a thing of the past as these women-owned enterprises attain financial growth, improve their communities and contribute to Uganda’s economic growth,” Asasira said.
The Top 10 winners and the categories in which they competed include:
|Business Name||Position Attained||Participation Category||Prize|
|APA Original Kisubi Tea LTD||Overall, Winner||Agribusiness Value Addition category||UGX 10Million & All expenses paid study trip|
|Prio Medical LTD – My Musawo APP||Overall, Winner||Digital Innovation & E-commerce category||UGX 10Million & All expenses paid study trip|
|HEB”s Organic LTD||Overall, Winner||Manufacturing & Consumer services category||UGX 10Million & All expenses paid study trip|
|Raining Vegetables Elgon LTD||1st Runner up||Digital Innovation & E-commerce category||All expenses paid trip & Recognition Award|
|Kuzimba Services||2nd Runner up||Digital Innovation & E-commerce category||All expenses paid study trip & Recognition Award|
|Naroho Co. LTD||1st Runner up||Manufacturing & Consumer services category||All expenses paid study trip & Recognition Award|
|East Star Healthy Products||2nd Runner up||Manufacturing & Consumer services category||All expenses paid study trip & Recognition Award|
|Weye Clean Energy Company LTD||2nd Runner up||Manufacturing & Consumer services category||All expenses paid study trip & Recognition Award|
|Mt Elgon Women Specialty Coffee LTD||1st Runner up||Agribusiness Value Addition category||All expenses paid study trip & Recognition Award|
|Nature”s Essence LTD- Mushroom for Health||2nd Runner up||Agribusiness Value Addition category||All expenses paid study trip & Recognition Award|