Kampala Innovation Week Opens Event to Innovators from Rest of the Country

By Mark Kawalya
The Kampala Innovation Week is one of the biggest innovation events that brings together government stakeholders, development partners and investors to hold discussions on the challenges and opportunities that Kampala’s innovation space holds.


The re-branding of the Kampala Innovation Week is an intentional move to open up the event to include a wider ecosystem of innovators to engage in conversations about the future of entrepreneurship in Uganda. The event’s official names on all social media accounts have been changed to reflect the new name.


Hosted by Startup Uganda, the Uganda Innovation Week (formerly Kampala Innovation Week) will be held from November 22nd to 24th, 2022 at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya. The event will carry the theme “Uganda’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Unlocking the Missing Links.”


The event will be open to participation from Ugandans across the country, which necessitated its branding as Uganda Innovation Week (UIW) with a nationwide focus.


“The country’s innovation landscape stretches far beyond just the city of Kampala, and we thought it was high time the innovation week actively recognized that,” Jean K. Makki, the Vice Chairperson of Startup Uganda, told the press at a media briefing held at Outbox Hub in Kampala.

“We are looking to get startup ecosystem stakeholders from all across the country involved in the crucial discussions we will be having at Uganda Innovation Week, and this move towards inclusivity will assist with that agenda.”


Although there has been growth in the Uganda startup ecosystem, a number of bottlenecks still exist which need a workaround to reinforce the development of tangible, market-ready enterprises as well as having stakeholders run these entities adequately.


Running for three days, the event will be geared to identifying some of these missing links and spurring conversations on possible methods of solving these bottlenecks. These include –


-Drawing parallels between academia and industry with a focus on underscoring how a connection between the two has been a driver for the growth of startup ecosystems across the world.


-Shine a light on the bottlenecks women entrepreneurs face, despite current statistics indicating that women make up a larger percentage of entrepreneurs in Uganda. In contrast, women-founded businesses often fail to scale up and are not given much consideration by would-be investors.


-Identify and explore missing links in financing and investment for entrepreneurs.
 

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