Under this year’s theme “Innovative pathways to scale green SME investments”, UGEFA’s flagship event, its annual Green Finance Dialogue Forum, will take place on 01 November 2023 in Kampala.
Launched in 2020, the Uganda Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator provides an unique approach to catalyse the flow of green finance into Uganda’s SME sector. UGEFA combines tailored capacity building and the facilitation of tailored green loans. To date, UGEFA’s finance mechanism has unlocked 8.7 billion Ugandan Shillings of green SME finance, blending grant and private sector capital, and hence has proven itself as an effective instrument to leverage and deploy green finance to Uganda’s SME sector. Having supported 200 green SMEs with tailored, intensive and comprehensive capacity building formats, UGEFA spearheads a transformation of enterprise support from small-scale, singular activities towards scalable, systemic and impactful approaches to accelerate green enterprise growth, leading to positive environmental impacts and the creation of green jobs.
Engaging the financial sector, donors, government and green enterprise representatives, enterprise support organisations and intermediaries, the Dialogue Forum will present and discuss learnings, insights and replication opportunities of effective green finance instruments.
A glimpse into what’s upcoming
The Green Finance Dialogue Forum will feature:
- Agenda-Setting Panel Discussions: Exploring the climate finance gap and discussing green finance from a risk management and from an opportunity perspective. Exploring innovative green finance instruments and replication opportunities
- Green Business Exhibition and Pitches: Showcasing environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive products, services and business models
- Interactive Practitioner Labs: Working on practical solutions and partnerships to solve key questions on the future of green SME finance
- Networking Reception: Connecting and exchanging to foster a thriving, collaborative green finance community
What’s it all about?
Uganda is vulnerable to climate hazards; a variety of sectors such as agriculture, water, and manufacturing – many of them mainly driven by small and medium-sized enterprises – are affected by climate change. Other sectors, such as the sectors of energy, waste management, tourism and mobility, are spearheading innovative market-driven solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For Uganda’s banking sector, climate change results in increased physical and transitional risks; at the same time, new market opportunities are emerging. Banks have started to leverage these by establishing climate units and the development of climate strategies and products. However, challenges and barriers remain, mainly regarding the origination of bankable climate projects, eligibility, and high (perceived) risks, associated with financing SMEs and new, yet unfamiliar green technologies. Access to finance still poses a key barrier to a thriving green SME sector, hampering green investments and enterprise growth. Innovative approaches and instruments are necessary to comprehensively tackle these challenges, both on the green finance demand and supply side.
Against this background, the UGEFA Green Finance Dialogue Forum will look into three key questions:
Financing who? Green SMEs are characterised by specific finance demands; both depending on their sectors and business models, and depending on their maturity stage. Various financial and non-financial support offers exist within Uganda’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem; instead of reinventing the wheel, existing solutions need to be harmonised, leveraged and impactful collaboration needs to be fostered among all stakeholders. “Financing who” takes a closer look at green SME pipelines.
Financing what? The need to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climate change calls for new, market-based solutions; market opportunities, driven by green and climate-smart enterprises, emerged across sectors. A plethora of investment types qualify as “green” – however, they need to be assessed against a set of clear and rigorous eligibility criteria. “Financing what” demystifies the difference between green business models (and related investments) and green (renewable or efficiency) asset investments, and discusses eligibility of green projects across sectors.
Financing how? Uganda’s ambitious targets to mitigate and adapt to climate change can only be met if green climate finance from public and private sources is mobilised. Innovative green finance mechanisms are necessary, de-risking and facilitating private sector capital. “Financing how” looks at approaches to make blended finance work.
Would you like to learn more about UGEFA’s Green Finance Dialogue Forum?