Over 50 young Small and Medium entrepreneurs last weekend underwent training courtesy of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) on how to easily secure finances.
The young entrepreneurs will join thousands of other entrepreneurs from all over Africa that are seeking to benefit from the $5000 seed capital from the annual Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship (TEF) program for Africa.
According to Paul Luyima, Head of retail and SME, UBA Uganda, the program is aimed at giving financial assistance to African entrepreneurs that have good ideas but are unable to develop their businesses due to lack of access to affordable financing.
Every year, the TEE Program ran and financed under UBA receives over 150,000 applications but only finances about 1000 projects.
“The competition is very stiff. In the first years, we realised that some entrepreneurs failed to make it to the program although they had very good business proposals due to inability to write good proposals hence the need for this kind of training” he said
The training saw old beneficiaries of the program take applicants through the process of successfully applying for the program and how to increase their chances of being considered for the program.
Kenneth Twesigye, the Founder of TechBuzz hub, who is one of the first beneficiaries of the program in 2016 said most young entrepreneurs fail because they do not have persistence and not committed enough.
“Finding an investor for your business is not easy. The entrepreneur needs to be shrewd, aggressive and willing to work hard. Sometimes all you need is a convincing tongue even when your idea is not so good” he told the participants.
The Programme is a 10-year, $100 million commitment from Mr Elumelu, who is also the chairman of UBA to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs. The Programme’s objective is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa.
Now in its 5th year, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered 4,470 entrepreneurs, using a bespoke and robust selection, training and implementation process to create visible and sustainable impact across all 54 African countries.
In 2018 over 2,210 Ugandans entrepreneurs applied for the program, ranking Uganda the third highest after Nigeria and Kenya in submissions. Over 126 Ugandan applicants were successful and received in the USD 5000, seed capital in 2018. Since inception over 300 Ugandan entrepreneurs have benefited from the program.