Last year, Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDB) in partnership with the Resilient Africa Network (RAN Lab) rolled out the UDB i-Growth Accelerator Program focusing on supporting commercialization of local start-ups and stimulating a culture of innovation in Uganda so as to make a remarkable contribution to the country’s social economic development.
The theme for 2017; ‘Towards a Smart and Sustainable Agricultural and Manufacturing Sector’, was targeting local start-up enterprises in Agricultural and manufacturing sectors that need support to grow and expand.
The call was open to individuals, youth groups, community based organisations, vocational institutes, students, young entrepreneurs amongst others who proposed brilliantly creative projects in relation to the theme.
The application process that was done online and the whole exercise finally closed on January 25th, 2018.
A total of 430 projects were submitted and 25 of them had an opportunity to showcase their project work at the Exhibition event held at Hotel Africana.
Three winners whose projects were considered the most innovative and inventive have been announced at the Award ceremony that has the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija in distinguished attendance as the Guest of Honour.
“I believe that for a smarter and sustainable agricultural and manufacturing sector, farmers must possess the right mix of science, economics, entrepreneurship, and environmental awareness to meet the challenges of the future,” Kasaija said in his speech at the event.
The top winner, Guide Leisure Farm of Orgapesticide innovation took home the first prize of Shs25 million, the first runner -up, Hybrid silage and hay machineand the second runner- up, Solar irrigation won Shs15 million and Shs5 million respectively.
In addition to the grand prizes, teams will also receive; Technical support, Mentorship and Business Coaching, linkages to local, regional and international expertise and contacts, financial support to develop and pilot the solution towards scaling as well as linkages to potential investors and financiers.