Start up businesses within the agricultural sector in Uganda have a chance to bag some handsome cash by participating in a competition that seeks to promote innovation, benefit for smallholder farmers in a sustainable way.
The challenge fund sponsored by ICCO Corporation – a Dutch investment fund, has put 35, 000 Euro (Approximately 116m Uganda Shillings) up for grabs and will be shared between three winners.
The challenge was launched at KatiKati restaurant at Lugogo, Kampala this week with a call for young entrepreneurs in the agricultural value chain to take advantage of the competition to expand their businesses, but also learn how to attract investors.
Hamphrey Mutaasa of FIT Uganda, the administrators of the competition said the challenge seeks to promote agricultural businesses into well managed, innovative, environmentally sustainable enterprises that not only attract investors but also inspire young people to venture into the sector.
Mutaasa said: “As you compete for the money, you will be putting your books [of accounts], your staff, your systems in order.”
Organisers of the competition say it is open to all players along the agricultural value chain as long as the business is innovative, balances profit with social impact with a focus on lifting smallholder farmers out of poverty.
The overall winner of the challenge will take home Euro 20,000 at a crowning event that is expected before the end of 2015.
Dr. David Kamukama, the ICCO administrator at the Dutch Embassy in Kampala said the best ten evaluated entrants into the challenge will further benefit from a business management training exercise with the view to enabling them attract investment from the ICCO fund.