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Business experts call for entrepreneurial pragmatism

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and partners have released the Uganda Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative (UEEI) for Kampala and Gulu, which recommends improvement of opportunities for entrepreneurs.

ANDE released the report last Thursday at Protea hotel during an event attended by key UEEI stakeholders. This initial assessment identifies the binding constraints to cultivating entrepreneurship in Uganda and recommends practical action to bolster entrepreneurial ecosystems in two specific regions of Gulu and Kampala. 

The constraints common to both of these entrepreneurial ecosystems include a lack of hands-on management and entrepreneurship education, limited entrepreneurial success stories—such as those that focus on female entrepreneurs—and a significant lack of finance targeted at small and growing businesses. 

Leveraging a review of available data, proprietary surveys and stakeholder interviews, the project consortium has developed a set of proposed recommendations for stakeholders to strengthen entrepreneurship in Gulu and Kampala.

These include providing practical entrepreneurship and management training at academic institutions; showcasing entrepreneur success stories from Uganda and similar markets; and attracting new funding institutions and promoting new tools to reduce the perceived risk of investing in small businesses.

“We are finally moving forward in a significant way to implementing an integrated approach to entrepreneurial ecosystem cultivation. With the UEEI Phase I work in Gulu and Kampala, we have taken a key step to changing the way entrepreneurship development is practiced in developing economies. With the forthcoming Phase II, we are committing to implement the recommendations developed in this first phase,” says Randall Kempner, ANDE’s executive director.

The project team will continue to collect feedback on pathways for action until September 21. The final report will be released in October. ANDE will continue to work with key partners to raise funding for UEEI Phase II, the implementation phase, that is expected to officially launch in early 2019.

UEEI Phase I was implemented by a consortium led by the Centre for Development Alternatives, a Uganda-based think-and-do-tank and consultancy. Other members of the consortium are Enterprise Uganda and Koltai & Company.

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