By Muthoni Njenga
GrowthAfrica is excited to have on board it’s just started second Ugandan cohort of 11 impactful Ugandan ventures. They cut across various industries; fashion retail, coffee manufacturing and social entreprise for conservation, e-commerce, education, transport and ride hailing, renewable energy, telematics, apiculture and financial inclusion. The ventures are joining the GrowthAfrica Acceleration Programme 2017, which targets innovative, ambitious and committed entrepreneurs and ventures equipping them with business and growth strategies, business models, leadership, investment readiness and access to investment.
The ventures were selected after a rigorous multi-phased selection process which focused on the viability of their businesses, the strength of the teams, and their potential to solve challenges through innovative products or services.
The 11 ventures are:
BOLD Kampala is an award-winning retail outlet, housing over thirty clothing and accessory brands from six different African countries. The BOLD platform is designed specifically for African entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. BOLD’s mission is to increase the support of the African fashion industry, both locally and internationally and through its work it has been able to create employment for more than 100 tailors / artisans that they work with regularly.
2.Gorilla Conservation Coffee
Gorilla Conservation Coffee (GC Coffee) is a social enterprise created through a partnership between Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) and Worldwide Fund for Nature Switzerland. GC Coffee pays a premium price for 100% Arabica premium coffee from smallholder coffee farmers bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park improving their lives, which in turn helps to protect the gorillas and their habitat.
Intelworld is an online commerce platform that enables businesses to sell through digital channels like mobile and web and get paid via mobile money (MTN, Airtel) and bank cards (visa, MasterCard, Amex). The clients include large telecoms selling airtime, bill payers, event organizers, insurance companies, online retailers, schools and more. The mobile channel is called Xente app. Customers can purchase from the easy to use Xente agency application since agents are spread across the country
Lipa Mobile’s flagship product “mPocket – mSomesa” which is a virtual digital transaction platform where parents, students and school administrators/ teachers exchange tuition, pocket money and vital student/ school information. The platform transcends into an opportunity for quality discount shopping for the ecosystem and an SME business opportunity for the school teachers / school administration.
UgaBus is an e-ticketing company for buses operating across East Africa that enables travellers to buy bus tickets online through secure mobile money and card payment options. The company has a total of 200 routes on their platform and works with 19 bus companies. UgaBus also provides a smart ticketing gadget used at the ticketing stations, eliminating fraud and the need for manual keying in of data and physical files.
Smartwatch deals with mobile asset management, e-commerce, information systems and management, logistics and feet management and security installations. Smartwatch Solutions aims to increase safety on roads, homes, offices and reduce environmental risk through superior maintenance and operations standards as well as to increase profitability in Safety and Transport sector.
7.Global ICT Solutions/ International Airtime Top Up
International Airtime Top Up primarily targets low to medium income earners for ICT and financial inclusion who can only afford to send small amounts of money, enabling instant airtime and money transfers across 250+ mobile networks worldwide that this venture partners with in over 100 countries and 80 destination currencies at low cost. It also targets people who do not have bank accounts.
Bee House provides services to beekeepers such as: bee product supplies, bee training and bee keeping equipment. Bee House also buys bee products such as honey, wax, propolis, bee venom and then adds value to the products by processing and packaging the same. The venture’s products are widely distributed in Uganda through supermarket chains, wholesale shops and hotels.
9. GRS Commodities
GRS Commodities is a renewable energy company that produces off-grid solar electricity for sale to households and small businesses in rural grid areas in Uganda that have no access to the main electricity grid infrastructure. Customers purchase electricity through a mobile phone enabled payment system that generates a code after the customer sends their payment through mobile money.
10. Eco International Solutions
Eco offers solar energy products and solar powered products that cater to the needs of individual users and organisations. This venture specialises in providing solar solutions to the off the grid rural population as well as urban population who view green energy as the next generation source of energy. In addition, the company sells high quality improved charcoal stoves and briquettes on order.
Originally Published on http://growthafrica.com/meet-11-exciting-ugandan-ventures-growthafrica-acceleration-programme-2017/