At a momentous event held on Friday, 36 Agribusiness entrepreneurs celebrated their graduation from the 2nd and 3rd cohorts of the Business Accelerator Program (BAP). This transformational program, implemented by Agribusiness Development Centre (ADC) in collaboration with GOPA Worldwide Consultants and powered by dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation, aimed to equip participants with essential business skills and mentorship to drive investor attractiveness, optimize operations, enhance marketing, and seize networking opportunities.
Launched in February 2023, the 2nd and 3rd cohorts of the Business Accelerator Program saw active participation from 110 participants representing 59 enterprises. Throughout the intensive training and mentorship sessions, the program focused on propelling agribusinesses from ideation phase to sustainable growth, ultimately attracting markets and funding for their operations.
ADC, in partnership with dfcu Limited and Rabo Foundation, initiated the Business Accelerator Program in 2018, seeking to support agribusinesses in unlocking their full potential and fostering growth and sustainability. The recent graduation ceremony at dfcu Bank’s Head Offices in Nakasero marked a significant milestone in the entrepreneurs’ journey towards success.
Addressing the graduates as the guest of Honor, Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa, the Permanent Secretary of Uganda Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, emphasized the importance of returning to the cooperative model to facilitate mass production. She encouraged investment in decontamination technology and improved packaging for agricultural products, while stressing the need for affordable credit access to ensure sustainable growth for farmers.
Ms. Josephine Mukumbya, the Executive Director of ADC, expressed her gratitude to all stakeholders, including GIZ, GOPA Worldwide Consultants, ECOS (funded by GIZ), and dfcu Bank, for their invaluable partnership and unwavering support in empowering agribusinesses to achieve their growth objectives.
Speaking at the award event, Charles Mudiwa, CEO of dfcu Bank, underscored the significance of investing in agribusiness to secure food supply for humanity. He encouraged entrepreneurs to think of large-scale production and emphasized the need to find markets for their products.
Mudiwa also challenged the entrepreneurs on the issue of finding markets. He mentioned that in addition to financing agricultural projects, dfcu has recently announced a partnership with Rabo Bank and Master Card to create a platform for agribusiness entrepreneurs to have access to markets for their products. Mudiwa also highlighted dfcu‘s recent partnership with Rabo Bank and Mastercard, which will create a platform for agribusiness entrepreneurs to access markets and further their growth. He said, “It is important to invest in Agribusiness because food supply is very important for the existence of humanity.”
He further highlighted that it is important for farmers to think of large-scale production saying, “It is good to start small, but we have to grow and become big producers.”
Karim Boven, the ADC patron, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands commended the pivotal role of farming in wealth creation and propelling Uganda’s economy to new heights. dfcu Bank has a long history of supporting the agricultural sector as evidenced by its diverse initiatives, such as Harvest Money, Best Farmers Awards, and patronage of the Agribusiness Development Centre. The Bank has forged strategic partnerships with Mastercard, Rabo Partnerships, the Royal Dutch Embassy, Aceli Africa and GOPA – to drive skilling of its staff as well as various players in the agribusiness value chain.
Through these initiatives and partnerships, dfcu Bank continues to pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous future for Uganda’s agricultural landscape.