The Uganda Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative (UEEI) aimed to bring together private and public sector ecosystem actors to catalyse collaboration and co-creation in the Ugandan SGB ecosystem to effectively address constraints on entrepreneurship.
Following a scoping study by UEEI in 2018, a second phase was launched in 2019 with support from Small Foundation and Argidius Foundation in partnership with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). The second phase of UEEI supported local ecosystem experts to address key gaps and opportunities in the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Kampala and Gulu, including the interrelated constraints of access to finance, technical assistance, and network connections. In late 2022 a learning brief was commissioned to harvest lessons from the initiative.
UEEI brought together a diverse group of over 60 key stakeholders, including government agencies, development partners, entrepreneurs, and financial and non-financial service providers. It succeeded in providing a space for Ugandan entrepreneurial expertise and capital providers to be heard, and for meaningful relationships to emerge. Initiatives such as the ‘Deal Room’ have allowed UEEI stakeholders to influence decisions across the Ugandan entrepreneurial ecosystem, including through policy engagement.
“UEEI with support from Small Foundation and Argidius has provided ANDE with the valuable opportunity to deepen its impact in Uganda as an ecosystem convenor, connector and educator. A participant survey undertaken at the end of UEEI Phase II revealed that UEEI’s activities had made significant contributions toward building a cohesive ecosystem and galvanizing collective action by actors in Kampala. A social network analysis revealed a strong network of influential actors and associations and a high level of connectedness in terms of networks, collaboration, and the information flow that has begun to take place within the Kampala entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We are most grateful for the meaningful partnership with Small Foundation, the deep learning and networking that the initiative has provided ANDE as well as the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Uganda. Building on the support from Small Foundation and the achievements of UEEI Phase II, there is recognition that more work is required to achieve even greater impact, sustainability, and effectiveness collectively. ANDE will continue to remain engaged and support ecosystem actors in Uganda on the long-term journey of strengthening Uganda’s entrepreneurial ecosystems.”
Rosemary Amondi, East Africa Regional Director, ANDE