TRANSFORMATIONAL
GROWTH STARTS HERE

High Growth StartUp?

Explore new opportunities:
Potential Investment and Business growth

Background

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. 

Objectives of the Program

To test a proposed approach to address the challenges in the Uganda startup eco-system.

To help identify areas and strategies in which JICA can continue to support the growth of the Ugandan startups and ICT sector over the long term.

To identify areas in Uganda’s start-up ecosystem that could be enhanced through future collaboration and provide more opportunities, including fundraising and/or business development opportunities, for start-ups at the growth stage

Who can apply?

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

Why Join the Program?

Advisor sessions

Businesses can seek advice from advisors within the industry.

Business support

Includes feedback on the product and a better understanding of sector issues.

Mentorship sessions

We have a strong network of mentors who provide advice on topics such as; marketing, scaling, legal issues, business strategy, and pitching to partners

Executive networking

Startups will get exposure to corporate partners (and vice versa) through networking events.

Potential partnership and funding opportunities

 Establish a relationship to strategically support the goals of the business.

Funding opportunities

Funding opportunities for growth-stage startups looking to raise 0.5 – 1 million dollars in investment. 

Selection Criteria - Level 1

Team: Presence of a full-time executive team of more than two people. Team experience in relation to problem.

Business readiness for growth and expansion: Have you expanded to other countries

Viable Business model

The business must be registered

Audited / Management books of accounts of the business

Process: High-Level summary

Applications Open/Public Announcement
Step 1
Application Deadline
August 30th
Step 2
Accelerator Program Launch day
Step 3
Demo day
Step 4

F.A.Q

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.

  • Should be a registered startup in Uganda
  • Should be at the growth-stage of development. Ideas will not be accepted
  • Must have been in operation for at least one year
  • Must have an economically viable business model 
  • Should be able to demonstrate a strong promise of building a sustainable and impactful business
  • Have a diverse and focused leadership team with at least one team member with strong sector expertise.
  • Advisor sessions – Businesses can seek advice from advisors within the industry.
  • Business support – Includes feedback on the product and a better understanding of sector issues.
  • Mentorship sessions – We have a strong network of mentors who provide advice on topics such as; marketing, scaling, legal issues, business strategy, and pitching to partners
  • Executive networking – Startups will get exposure to corporate partners (and vice versa) through networking events.
  • Partnership and funding opportunities – 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.

An initiative of:

Implemented by:

In partnership with:

An initiative of:

Implemented by:

In partnership with:

Contact Us

sasiimwe@innovationvillage.co.ug