UIW opens opportunities for entrepreneurs in the digital economy

by MMC
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Startup Uganda has officially launched the 2023 Uganda Innovation Week (UIW) which will take place from November 22 to 24 at the National ICT Innovation Center under the Ministry of ICT and National Orientation.

The main objective of the event this year is to network and build partnerships, with the Startup Uganda team making deliberate efforts to ensure that the entrepreneurs in attendance are connected to potential partners, investors and customers.

Beyond the insightful panels and exhibits that have become a hallmark of the UIW, this year’s event promises innovative additions.

For the first time, UIW will offer an investor lounge in partnership with the East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA), offering entrepreneurs with the opportunity for one-on-one engagements with investors and potential clients throughout the event.

Additionally, there will be business-to-business deal rooms where companies will highlight various collaboration opportunities for digital innovators. Masterclasses, organized in partnership with Design Without Borders (DWB), will add an edutainment dimension to the sessions.

The UIW will also host business clinics aimed at helping entrepreneurs seamlessly integrate digital elements into their businesses, covering topics such as online payments, digital market integration and access to forms of online credit.

Speaking to the press, Ms. Doris Odit Acheng, National Coordinator of the Uganda Chapter of EAVCA, said that venture capital financing in East Africa is the catalyst for innovationeconomic growth and empower local entrepreneurs to realize their aspirations.

“It’s not just an investment in businesses; it is an investment in the future prosperity of the entire region,” Acheng said. “Through our partnership with UIW 2023, we aim to bridge the gap between early-stage startups in Uganda, connecting them with investors who align with their vision. »

Under the theme “Adapt or be left behind: the digital economy and the opportunities it presents for the Ugandan entrepreneur”, entrepreneurs will be able to present and engage along three main axes:

  1. Ignite & Innovate — What are the big opportunities for entrepreneurs in the digital economy?
    The UIW will explore the limitless opportunities that the digital economy offers to entrepreneurs. With businesses and development partners leading financial support to build the digital economy, participants will delve deeper into strategies and pathways for startups, MSMEs and entrepreneurs to effectively leverage these prospects. It will also highlight sectors that are leveraging digital innovation to drive growth and that can benefit from innovation.

  1. Scale & Succeed — How can entrepreneurs better integrate digital technology into their business models?
    The UIW will focus on the strategic development of new technologies and the integration of existing ones by MSMEs and startups. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to benefit from business clinics focused on the main factors influencing the digital economy.
  2. Topics for discussion include: digital transformation, licensing and democratization of digital infrastructure, universal adoption of affordable digital services, and development of digital skills and human capital.

  1. Connect and Collaborate — How can we help grow the digital economy through public-private partnerships?
    A well-developed value chain and ecosystem can advance the digital economy, drive economic growth, and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and innovation. The UIW will focus on fostering collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders, promoting innovation, knowledge sharing and resource allocation to drive ecosystem growth.

Richard Zulu, President of Startup Uganda, said in his speech: “Entrepreneurs who adopt technology and innovation are the architects of our digital future, shaping new opportunities and redefining industries.

Zulu noted that while fintech and agritech have been at the forefront of digital business models in Uganda, there is still much to explore beyond these sectors. “The digital economy has the potential to revolutionize various industries, including healthcare, education, transportation, manufacturing, energy, creative industries and many more,” he said . “It’s this potential that we want to start tapping into at this year’s event.”

Startup Uganda has partnered with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), Youth Startup Academy (YSAU), DWB, EAVCA and the Youth Capital Fund. United Nations (UNCDF) to organize Uganda Innovation 2023. Week.

Startup Uganda continues to call for more partners to come on board and participate in the event, saying partnerships are also open to innovators, especially those capable of delivering business clinics.

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