By Mark Kawalya
The Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) Program announced it had selected 100 women-led enterprises from 15 countries in the Sub-Saharan region to participate in a program that would see the winners receive funding to upscale and improve their enterprises. Of these, 15 female-led startups from Uganda were selected.
The competing startups were given training and mentorship after participating in the accelerator program that saw the women entrepreneurs pitch their solutions, and 30 founders were selected to receive €50,000 (UGX200M) in the form of grant funding along with an extended three months of training that is laser focused on growth.
Three female led Ugandan startups were among those shortlisted to receive funding, and include Women Smiles Uganda, Dromedic, and Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab (Chil AI Lab).
- Women Smiles Uganda provides reliable, affordable and modern training in sustainable vertical farming concepts for the underserved women in Africa.
- Dromedic uses data, digital logistics, and tech, link blood suppliers with hospitals, reducing waste and increasing fast blood delivery, while maintaining quality control.
- Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab (Chil AI Lab) utilises AI and machine learning to put reliable chronic disease prevention and management services in the hands of everyday women.
“I was so happy to learn that I was among the thirty people that were getting the €50,000 (approx. UGX200M) funding for our business. This is not small money and surely it will help us scale somehow to Rwanda,” Chil AI Lab Founder, Shamim K. Nabuuma said in an interview.
WE4A purposes to enable female-led enterprises to boost their businesses’ capacities, open up access to funding and market opportunities, as well as providing specialized training and knowledge enhancement. This is through collaboration with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union (EU), and with implementation from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
WE4A Program aligns itself with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with its core objective being the support of women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and acting as a catalyst for them to flourish and contribute to employment creation in their communities.