The call for proposals received overwhelming interest from the private sector and companies presented successful, innovative and inclusive business proposals under the Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) Challenge Fund.
IAP challenges the private sector to develop innovative products, services and business models that can contribute to the fight against poverty and climate change, with a specific focus on the inclusion and empowerment of women and youth. IAP supports innovative inclusive business models that are commercially sustainable and can benefit the low-income population, in both rural and urban areas. IAP is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and managed by SNV in partnership BoP Inc. and Inclusive Business Sweden.
The first IAP call for proposals was launched in March 2017 in four countries (Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia and Cambodia) targeting innovative businesses ideas that were inclusive, commercially viable and scalable. The call received an overwhelming response from the private sector, with over 1,051 companies submitting proposals. In Uganda, 380 proposals were submitted covering key project sectors such as Agriculture and Food Security, Energy, WASH and ICT. Among them, eight Ugandan companies were selected as beneficiaries of the grant. See below list of successful companies and related inclusive businesses:
- Ento Africa Limited - Cricket production for nutritious foods
- WANA Energy Solutions - PAYG LPG for cooking
- Chap Chap Africa Limited - Scaling digital payments for inclusive socio-economic development
- Sanitation Africa Limited - Inclusive and affordable toilets, sanitation and briquettes production
- Sky Foods & Beverages Limited - Inclusive fruit supply chain
- Yellow Star Produce & Processors Limited - Ready to eat fortified nutritious foods for low-income people
- Pamoja Clean Tech BV - Entrepreneurial biomas electricity consumption hub
- Eco-Group Limited - Eco-Stove Production
During the award ceremony hosted by SNV Uganda, the grant-winning companies had the opportunity to present their businesses to the media, SNV staff and SIDA representative. Paul Asiimwe, SIDA representative, exhorted them to best utilise these funds to promote economic growth. “Do whatever you can to ensure that your businesses remain sustainable and address the unemployment burden in Uganda; and above all, provide markets for the poor,” Paul said. IAP will also provide the selected companies with business advisory services to further support them in developing and improving their business ideas and production practices. SNV Uganda Country Director, Michael J.F. O’Mahony, emphasised that “SNV commits to be with you every step of the way. We want you to be profitable and remain competitive with your product lines from this point onwards; and we want you to be able to meet the desires and needs of those who are less fortunate amongst us and enable them to improve their overall living conditions.”