Uganda Development Bank (UDB) i-Growth Acceleration Program 2017 for startups from Uganda

Application Deadline: January 25th, 2018.

Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDB) in partnership with the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN Lab) are pleased to announce the UDB i-Growth Accelerator 2017 that will focus on supporting commercialization of local start-ups and stimulating a culture of innovation in Uganda so as to contribute to the country’s social economic development. The i-Growth Accelerator program is an annual initiative that will support individuals to grow and expand their start-up enterprises in all sectors.

For 2017, the Accelerator will focus on the Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors under the theme; ‘Towards a Smart and Sustainable Agricultural and Manufacturing Sector’.

Agricultural production in Uganda is mainly dominated by smallholder farmers engaged in food and industrial crops, forestry, horticulture, fishing and livestock farming. The country is one of the leading producers of coffee and bananas in the World. It is also a major producer of tea, cotton, tobacco, cereals, livestock and fishing products among many others. However the Agriculture sector experiences challenges such as adverse climate variability and most communities depend on subsistence agriculture. More so agricultural yields are meagre and non-diversified (UNDP, 2007).

The multiple stresses have risen from current climatic hazards, poverty and unequal access to resources, food insecurity, globalization trends (including impact of global financial crisis). Due to un predictable rain patterns, floods, prolonged dry spells, drought the agricultural methods employed are usually not effective to grow sufficient crops and raise livestock. Value addition to produce is low communities are stuck in a cycle of low productivity and skewed markets in which they have limited leverage. The result is low income, pervasive poverty and no growth. We need to disrupt the status quo, and introduce creative and modern methods of farming, open markets for produce and promote bulking and value addition technologies.

Eligibility Requirements:

The call shall is open to interested applicants from diverse backgrounds who propose brilliant projects in relation to the theme. Submissions can be done in teams or individuals for example youth groups, community based organisations, vocational institutes, students, young entrepreneurs, NGOs, women groups, associations, SMEs etc . Projects should suggest transformative interventions or solutions. Applicants should note carefully that the suggested projects could be in form of ‘technologies’ or ‘approaches’. It should be a project with a demonstrable proof of concept for the solution/approach an existing enterprise with atleast 1 or 2 years of existence.

Additional Considerations

Successful projects should have the following additional attributes;

  • Scalability: the proposed solution should be scalable at different geographical scales preferably regional, national or sub-national and community level.
  • Job creation: Creation of employment opportunities is fundamental to the achievement of the vision 2040 overarching goal of Transforming ‘Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years. It is therefore important that the proposed solutions consider how they will create new employment opportunities.
  • Multi-sectoral collaboration: Participation of both the public and private sectors is fundamental or collaboration of multi-disciplinary sectors such as finance, water , energy and humanities will be an added advantage.
  • Environmental conservation: Increase yield while keeping the ecosystem green. Green energy to power production
  • Other aspects include; Originality of the idea, business/sustainability model, clear implementation plan, additional spin offs (your project provides more than one solution/ benefits to the users), cost effectiveness and competitive advantage of the solution.
Benefits to the winning teams

Inclusion into UDB i-Growth Acceleration Program, where teams will 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
  • Linkages to potential investors and fianciers

UDB i-Growth Accelerator 2017 Time Lines

Milestone Date
Call open for applications 12th Dec 2017 to 25th Jan 2018
Exhibition and Final Award 22nd Feb 2018
Acceleration Program for Awardees March – June 2018
For More Information:


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