Ruth Asasira is the Head of Women in Business and Special Programs at dfcu Bank.
In a recent interview, she explains what dfcu Bank and the Agribusiness Development Center Business Acceleration Program mean for Uganda’s agribusiness value chain.
- What is the ADC Business Acceleration Program (BAP)?
The ADC Business Accelerator program is an initiative sponsored by dfcu bank and Rabo Foundation to build business capacity in the agribusiness value chain for growth and is implemented by the Agribusiness Development Center (ADC).
The accelerator is a 4-month program focused on agribusinesses that are past the ideation stage and are ready to scale. Our intention for this program is to enable 350 agribusinesses (40% of which are run by women) to become self-sufficient and create at least 350 new jobs in the following categories: Agro Marketing, Processing, Production; agroforestry; Agritourism and agricultural support services such as Agritech; Veterinary; Input power; Extension service.
Other goals include:
– Link these agribusinesses to finance and markets, affordable green finance and technical assistance.
– Influencing the inclusiveness of youth and women in corporate leadership.
– Create opportunities for peer exposure and networking through learning visits
experts in various fields.
Program cohorts will examine various barriers to agribusiness growth and tap into business acceleration opportunities. The themes under study for 2 years will be; key value chains; Greening of agro-industries; Oil and gas opportunities for agribusiness and youth in agribusiness. The first cohort will be selected with the aim of ensuring gender inclusion in agribusiness development.
Why Women in Agribusiness as the inaugural cohort?
In fact, women face more difficulties than men in starting, managing and growing their businesses, as they are more likely to be hampered by the lack of necessary abilities, skills and resources compared to their male counterparts. .
With 52% of Uganda’s workforce made up of women and approximately 75% employed in the agricultural sector, interventions such as the ADC Business Accelerator program are key to promoting entrepreneurship and helping women develop greater prosperity. economic.
In 2007, dfcu bank made the conscious decision to launch the dfcu Women in Business Program; aimed at creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs. The proposed Women in Business program of the Bank serves women employed in agribusiness as a key focus area. Thanks to several commitments, more than 80,000 dfcu Women in Business clients have signed up for the program.
In response to several customer requests, this initiative will further strengthen the capacity of the dfcu women in business, new and existing, and other women in agribusiness.
- How unique is this initiative compared to many other existing programs?
Farming as a business presents unique challenges that require unique solutions. The ADC Business Accelerator program focuses on managing the challenges facing the agribusiness industry at all levels; input, agriculture and production sector.
We plan to contribute directly to five Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); 5- Gender equality; 7 – Clean and affordable energy; 8-Decent work and economic growth; and 17- Partnerships for Goals.
- How do you qualify for this exciting acceleration program?
- The invitation for the first cohort is extended to women-led agribusinesses that meet the following criteria:
- Primarily, women-led agribusinesses (at least 50% owned and/or managed by women) that are part of the Women in Business (WIB) program at dfcu Bank or have been involved in other related agribusiness development initiatives.
- Agro-food companies at least 40% owned by women are exceptionally considered if at least 60% of the staff are women.
- Should have registered agribusiness in Uganda.
- Must have an account with dfcu Bank or be prepared to open one.
- Must be a for-profit agribusiness.
- Have a minimum annual turnover of 60M UGX.
- Get up and running with a verified product or service.
To apply for this program, one should visit www.dfcugroup.com or www.adc.ug. The deadline for receipt of applications is 26e September 2022.
- What benefits should companies expect from this Initiative?
Participants in the initiative will have access to information and tools that support their agribusinesses to gain insights into;
- Strategic positioning of the company.
- Validation of the economic model.
- Access to affordable legal, branding, accounting and tax advisory services.
- Networking opportunities and learning visits with experts in various fields.
- Links to affordable financial services.
ADC Business Accelerator alumni will also benefit from the dfcu The Bank’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Agribusiness Value Proposition, which includes affordable transaction banking, financing as well as other capacity building programs.