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Resource Centre to empower women through provision of Green Enterprise Business Development Services

At the heart of the Resource Centre is desire to create jobs, enhance income for women and improve livelihoods through green enterprises.

Photo of African Women Agribusiness Network
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Poverty and unemployment are two close cousins that continue to inflict pain and agony to millions of Uganda. Despite numerous efforts by government and local and international NGOs, unemployment rates continue to be extremely high and about 20% of the population still live under 1 dollar a day. Women are the worst affected these two problems due to lack of employment opportunities, cultural stereotypes that deny women ownership to important resources such as land, heavy domestic chores, low literacy and numeracy rates, and limited entrepreneurship and industrial skills. This challenge has had adverse effects on peace at family level such as Gender based violence resulting from women heavy reliance on their husbands for survival. The integrity of the planet has also been heavily mutilated as millions of people rely on degrading wetlands and clearing forests in order to earn a living. The green enterprise resource center looks at a world where prosperity can be achieved in mutual agreement with peace and the planet. The resource centre will provide women with introduce to women the high potential green enterprises; provide business training, investor readiness mentorship and referrals to financial services. The project will increase women economic participation, increase savings and investments and ultimately more employment creation for women and the rest of the population that will be involved in the business ecosystem. Finally, the project will boost competitiveness of women led enterprises, reduce poverty rates, and increase life expectancy. Regarding the planet, the resource centre will promote enterprises with a mitigation or adaptation impact such as the eco-stove and other energy-saving technologies, climate smart agriculture and value addition. Finally, the project will promote peace by reduce women and young girls vulnerability Gender Based Violence, reduce conflicts between communities and government for forests, wetlands and gameparks.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are women and girls between the age of 18 and 45 years which is the most active age group. The project targets 10, 000 direct beneficiaries and over 50000 indirect beneficiaries in 36 months considering that enterprises in Uganda are usually family owned. The women will benefit from the resource centre by accessing professional business development services to build their skills as green entrepreneurs. Key areas of skilling will include enterprise selection, business modeling, business planning, marketing, using ICT in marketing, investor readiness mentorship, financial literacy and access to financial services. To mitigate family conflicts resulting from such enterprises, married women will be encouraged to involve men in such businesses and the couples will be mentored together. such men will be sensitized on the benefits of allowing their wives to be economically active and engaging in green enterprises.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The idea is unique in a number of ways. It is one of the few interventions that looks as green enterprises for women as a critical pathway for increased employment and poverty reduction. Majority of NGOs and governments have been involved in addressing these challenges by giving handouts which as not created any significant impact. Secondly, the idea builds on the principal of inclusiveness. It targets the group of our population whose economic participation continue to be hampered by cultural and institutional barriers. The idea will rely heavily on partnerships to ensure replication of the success stories. The project will also employ social media to ensure that the benefits go beyond women and girls that access our physical resource center. Facebook and Whatusp masterclasses will be used to pass on skills and knowledge to a wider population.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

African Women Agribusiness Network Uganda Chapter (AWANUG) is a women-driven organization focused on women and youth in agribusiness. It provides business support for sustainable agricultural value chains to its members by providing technical, advisory, financial and mentorship and offers a platform for women to network, grow and scale up their enterprises thus enhancing food security and wealth creation. please check our website

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

After a number of years working with women, it became apparent that their contribute a higher proportion of their income to family subsistence than men. The mother’s income is more related to children nutrition, health care and general household food expenditures. Enhanced the economic productivity of women therefore has overwhelming benefits to the family and society at large. We are therefore motivated to address the hurdles that stand in the way of women.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

In Uganda, the relationship between peace, Prosperity and Planet is a turbulent one. In order to address poverty and unemployment, people have resorted to degrading the environment, clearing forests, charcoal burning and other activities unfriendly to the planet. Poverty has also affected peaceful co-existence within families, communities and government. Gender based violent is very prevalent in Uganda due to women over dependence of men, vulnerability as young girls walk long distance to look for water and firewood. there are many inter-family and inter-comunnity conflicts because over 90% rely on farm-activities for survival. There are also conflicts between government and communities as some communities have decided to encroach on wetlands, forests and game reserves to earn a living. such conflicts have left many people dead and others displaced. Therefore, green enterprises will reverse the trend of things by promoting a prosperity agenda that is friendly to the environment.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The project will involve many stakeholders involved in green enterprise ecosystem. The first major partner will be the women led enterprises. Women led enterprises will be working with AWANUG to provide mentorship and training to newly recruited entrepreneurs. The project is market-led which means that market is at the heart of our efforts. Therefore, market players for green based products such as schools as off-takers of eco-friendly stoves and briquettes, supermarkets as the off-takers of organic foods will be brought on board. It should be noted that AWANUG is founded and lead by women entrepreneurs who clearly understand the challenges women face in establishing and sustaining their businesses. The views of women in business are therefore fully integrated in designing this project.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

1. Women have shown a strong desire to participant in businesses if the existing barriers are addressed. The ever increasing number of women led enterprises subscribing to AWANUG is clear demonstration to this. 2. There exist many untapped opportunities for green enterprises. The over-reliance on charcoal is a great opportunity for eco-stoves and briquettes, the good climate and two long rain seasons can support smart. 3. There is a good enabling environment because of political stability.

Geographic Focus

The project will be based in Kampala, Uganda with outreaches in all regions of the country.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project will be fully scaled out with 36 months.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Alice Quagliato

Dear Awan, it's a really good idea. I just have one comment and question about the beneficiairies and their selection. Comment: it would be useful to quantify the expected number of beneficiaries and how they are selected. Question: it seems to me that the project is designed for women with already a good basic education, to be able to follow the training on business modeling, marketing etc. and not for very vulnerable / poor women. Is this the case? can you explain why you decided to target this group? and if it is not the case, maybe it is worth to clarify on this point?

Photo of African Women Agribusiness Network

Hullo Alice, Thank you for your observations and comments. I am grateful for your advice especially regarding quantifying the number of beneficiaries and how they will be selected. It is very pertinent and we shall address it immediately. As for your question, we really believe every business requires a financial model to determine how it will generate money and requires in addition to a marketing strategy. We shall have have tools in English translated in major local languages in Uganda and the tools will be as simplified as possible. The resource center will be able to reach both educated and uneducated women. Our outreach program will go along way to reach women in rural areas. We would like to inspire as many women as possible to overcome institutional and cultural barriers that have limited their entrepreneurship.

Photo of Alice Quagliato

Thank you for your answer and glad to be of help. Good luck with your very important work.