High Growth StartUp?
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) acknowledges that the Ugandan ICT industry is emerging and recognizes the economic importance of start-up companies. At the same time, JICA considers there are still various challenges in enhancing Uganda’s ecosystem and strengthening support for start-up companies, particularly the ICT sector.
In February 2021, JICA launched the project Survey on Start-up Ecosystem Strengthening in the Republic of Uganda to identify some key hypotheses about Uganda’s start-up ecosystem, and how JICA can support its growth. The project is being conducted by a JICA Task Force consisting of the following private sector players: KPMG AZSA LLC, Rakuten Europe, Asia Africa Investment & Consulting Pte Ltd, and E-gates.
After interviewing over 10 start-up hubs and over 20 start-ups in Uganda, the JICA Task Force (JICA TF) has found key challenges facing the growth of the Ugandan start-up ecosystem.
Based on these findings, the JICA Task Force in partnership with The Innovation Village, Hive Collab, and Outbox has launched a three-month pilot Accelerator Program (AP) to prove the hypotheses drawn from these findings and propose ways to address these key challenges for JICA’s future long-term support of Uganda’s start-up ecosystem.
Target audience: First-of-its-kind accelerator designed especially for businesses with market traction and earning above $50,000 per year in revenue, although exceptions apply
Businesses can seek advice from advisors within the industry.
Includes feedback on the product and a better understanding of sector issues.
We have a strong network of mentors who provide advice on topics such as; marketing, scaling, legal issues, business strategy, and pitching to partners
Startups will get exposure to corporate partners (and vice versa) through networking events.
Establish a relationship to strategically support the goals of the business.
Funding opportunities for growth-stage startups looking to raise 0.5 – 1 million dollars in investment.
The NINJA Accelerator Uganda is a program run by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with The Innovation Village, Hive Collab and Outbox to support Start-ups at a high growth stage making revenues of over $50,000 and looking for investment opportunities and are ready for the next level of the business development.
Uganda is ranked one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Statistics show 30 percent of Ugandans have started businesses. In the United States of America and Japan, that figure stands at 7 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. However, most of these startups do not make it to the growth stage because of limited investment opportunities, relevant skills-set gap, stiff competition and absence of incentives such as tax breaks that would otherwise support startup growth.
Therefore, the NINJA Accelerator Uganda Program will address some of the key challenges to support and strengthen Uganda’s Start-up ecosystem. These will include: providing investment opportunities, shaping their business models and value proposition to gain market traction and finding unique solutions that address Ugandan challenges to become profitable and expand their business.This in a long run will grow and shape Uganda’s start-up ecosystem.