dfcu Bank continues its mission to spotlight, inspire and reward women entrepreneurs in the SME sector across the nation through its ongoing partnership with Monitor Publications Limited’s (MPL) flagship brand Daily Monitor and Uganda Investment Authority-UIA in an ongoing countrywide financial literacy campaign dubbed ‘Rising Woman’ under the theme ‘Taking your Business Ahead’.
The Rising Woman Initiative run under the auspices of the Women in Business Program is dfcu Bank’s commitment to providing women entrepreneurs with opportunities to succeed in their businesses and personal lives. It’s objectives include recognizing, celebrating and promoting a culture of mentorship among women entrepreneurs in Uganda. Since its inception in 2018, more than 1,600 women have benefited from the financial literacy sessions that brought together aspiring entrepreneurs, growing business owners and business experts for two-day regional training sessions to talk impact, network, mentor and get down to business.
According to Victoria Byenkya, Manager Women in Business, small business owners are committed to their businesses and dfcu bank is committed to making it possible for them to grow these business and make an impact in their communities.
“We have a long history of supporting financial inclusion programs and ‘Rising Woman’ is one of the programs we are proud of. Tools and resources are critical to the success of any business, especially when it comes to sales. Together with our partners, we have been empowering business owners with the necessary skills to run successful businesses. We have done this consistently in line with our brand promise of ‘making more possible’ for our customers and Ugandans at large. We want to showcase the potential women have despite the constraints they face,” she said.
There are more women, in Uganda and around the world, today starting and growing thriving businesses. According to the 2018 MasterCard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship Uganda, women are among the most entrepreneurial in the world at 33.8% coming third after Ghana, 44.4% and Russia, 34.6%. Despite the progress women have made in the past years, women continue to experience severe challenges.
Speaking during the Awards gala dinner at Hotel Africana, Mathias Katamba dfcu Bank’s CEO noted that economically empowering women is good for the community and the country. “When women earn money either in business, in agriculture or as employs are able to support their families and ultimatlety enable communities to thrive. None the less, women who own and manage businesses have a unique set of challenges, including inadequate social networks, limited access to funding & capital, financial literacy.” Mr. Katamba said.
“So since 2007 we have been working with women clients across the spectrum to help them grow their businesses by providing greater access to capital, leading advisory services, and networking opportunities. We have tailor-made solutions for businesswomen to enable them make more possible for themselves, their families and communities,” he added.
As part of the activities, women entrepreneurs were called upon to participate in a proposal writing competition that saw over 100 proposals submitted up from 80 submitted in 2018. After undergoing a process of rigorous screening and selection, 10 women entrepreneurs emerged victorious in the stiff competition.
The overall winner Western Silk Road Limited bagged UGX 15,000,000 million, My Passion Farm, the first runner up was awarded UGX 10,000,000 million and second runner up Haziel Agencies received UGX 5,000,000 million. Additionally, one delegate from each of the top 10 selected businesses that entered the competition will be sponsored to attend a study tour in Nairobi in January 2020. They will also receive free business advisory services for a period of one (1) year courtesy of the dfcu Women in Business Program.
The Guest of Honor, Minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde said: “As a country, we are in a global race, there is need to stay competitive that’s why its important to back women. I applaud all the women who participated in this program and the different partners for creating such spaces for aspiring women entreprenues to succeed”.
A two-day business expo has been organized for women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services free of charge all courtesy of Rising Woman partners at Hotel Africana. The Expo which opened on Friday 15th November will close on Saturday 16th November.