Today the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), in collaboration with MOTIV hosted a panel talk entitled ‘Bounce Back – Investing in the Face of Adversity’ to celebrate Uganda’s start-up companies and young entrepreneurs that showed innovation, creativity, and resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Leading Ugandan entrepreneurs and investors appeared at the panel talk to share tips for maintaining successful businesses in the face of the significant obstacles presented by the pandemic. The Uganda Investment Authority’s domestic division was instrumental in providing investment opportunities and connections for these businesses both before and during the pandemic.
Covid-19 forced businesses worldwide to reinvent the ways in which they engaged with their audiences and customers and in Uganda, it was no different. Innovation became the key to survival; companies had no choice but to come up with unique and innovative concepts to in order to succeed. The Bounce Back event gave a platform to celebrate these cutting-edge companies who excel in business agility, innovation and long-term sustainability. The event provided an opportunity to raise awareness and showcase these businesses to a select group of international and local media in attendance from Europe to the Middle East and beyond. The event was also streamed live to an audience at the Uganda pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Robert Mukiza, Executive Director of Uganda Investment Authority stated that “We need to promote the small businesses, innovations and cultural aspects of Uganda that make the country unique in order to prompt discussions, attract business investment and venture capitalism to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem”.
Small business owners, innovators, and cultural leaders in attendance showcased their work and prompted discussions around agile business strategies and future paths to expansion. Teddy Ruge of Rain Tree Farms, Uganda’s largest agricultural company specialising in Moringa crops, stated in his address that “This gathering which is promoting and creating a space where entrepreneurs can actually thrive is really important. Working with the Uganda Investment Authority to accelerate things and empower entrepreneurs to build much more robust ecosystems is essential to our future success”.
Geofrey Mutabaazi of Charge KO speaking about how the pandemic affected his business remarked that “As a business we suffered but we persevered. We spent the pandemic thinking about how we could bounce back. During the pandemic UIA kept businesses alive, they kept the hope of entrepreneurs alive. Bouncing back has been a story of how we can work together and support each other. We couldn’t have bounced back alone we had to do it as a collective”.
With the economy fully opened, the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 is in rapid decline. Today’s event proved that Ugandan entrepreneurs are adopting new recovery plans to build resilient and sustainable businesses, as they strive to rebuild the economy. Economists and players in the private sector are very optimistic that Uganda’s economic growth will recover progressively as the country bounces back from the severe disruption brought by the pandemic.
Other stand out businesses included at the event included ‘Ehega Bio Energy’ – a start-up invested in production of bio-energy from invasive water hyacinth in the form of affordable fuel briquettes and ‘Charge Ko’ – who have created a suite of solutions that solve the mobile energy challenge by embedding chargers in everyday use items.
This event was staged at the MOTIV Makers Space, Kampala, and ran from 10:00am till 6:00pm.