April 3—SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation and Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) are looking for Ugandan companies with ideas that tie in low income earners as suppliers, distributors or consumers.
“Our mandate is to identify and nominate inclusive businesses that benefit the poor. The business or business idea should take up the poor people in their value chain in the areas stated above,” Javier Ayala, the Executive Manager at Innovations Against Poverty Fund said during the launch of the IAP Fund in Kampala.
He said for a business or business idea to stand a chance in benefiting from the IAP money, it must be commercially viable, inclusive of the low income people, innovative, e-scalable and should be environmentally beneficial.
Ayala said businesses and or business ideas that are in line with what they are looking for could benefit in financial support of between euro 50,000 (about $53,000) and euro 200,000. There is a July 24th, 2017 deadline for all applications. He said the target sectors for IAP fund include agro-business, energy, water, sanitation, hygiene and ICT.
“The business should have the capacity to improve food security and nutrition for those dealing in agriculture, those involved in the energy sector should lead to provision of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, those involved in ICT should ease management of workers and improve access to technologies that help deliver solutions sought after by in the other sectors,” Ayalasaid.
He said other than financial support; they also offer technical support, where successful businesses will benefit in training as well as any other technical support.
In return, the projects or business supported should be able to lead to creation of more jobs, empowerment of women, the business should be able to make profits and lead to inclusive growth which is a very fundamental factor of the IAP fund.
Ayala however, emphasised that the IAP fund does not fund working capital for businesses but those businesses who need to improve their value chain for the benefit of others. This can be inform of, acquiring machines or equipment.
Moses Ogwal, a Policy Analyst at the Private Sector Foundation (Uganda) reiterated the importance of inclusive growth. He said it has been the priority and emphasis of the Private Sector Foundation to seek for and encourage private enterprises to seek for interventions that support inclusive growth and he is delighted that the IAP Fund shares in this value.
“To grow requires someone to continually buy from you and our interest in the past and still is, to ensure that those who buy form you are sustainably empowered to do so,”Ogwal said.
Ogwal said if women and children are empowered, they create a critical purchasing power and in so doing lead to inclusive growth. “The women and children as well as the rest of the population should be empowered to have a sound purchasing power,” Ogwal said. He encouraged Ugandan business people to apply for the money.