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UGEFA at Sankalp Global Summit 2020: Delivering Growth Capital to Bankable Green SMEs

UGEFA at Sankalp Global Summit 2020: Delivering Growth Capital to Bankable Green SMEs

03 NOVEMBER 2020 | Virtual Sankalp Global Summit 2020

More than 40 participants from diverse backgrounds – ranging from green SMEs, financial institutions, incubators and accelerators and researchers – connected as part of an UGEFA-hosted session titled “Delivering Growth Capital to Bankable Green SMEs” during the Sankalp Global Summit 2020 on 03 November 2020 from 11:30am – 13:00pm EAT. 

Moderated by UGEFA Team members Eddie Sembatya and Christine Meyer, this session welcomed two knowledgeable speakers, providing interesting insights into their work:

Lawrence Zikusoka, Co-Founder and AdvisorGorilla Conservation Coffee (Uganda) shared Gorilla Conservation Coffee’s financing journey, highlighting bottlenecks and successes as well as the enterprise’s growth objectives.

Dr. Sriram Appulingam, Deputy General Manager & Faculty Member, Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), offered insights into facilitating loan finance for green enterprises and the business case of green SMEs for banks.

Key Outcomes

In an interactive setting, participants then discussed the role of debt-based financing in enabling more green enterprises to grow. Looking beyond equity investments to ask: How can we finance the other 99%?

Discussions highlighted that green SMEs need tailored support specifically aligned with their financing needs as environmentally-friendly enterprises. This includes supporting green SMEs with topics such as green impact planning and monitoring.

Furthermore, policy can be central in fostering the role of green SMEs in the economy, by reducing tax burdens, subsidising green enterprises which sometimes target niche markets or simplifying registration procedures.

It was also mentioned that a common understanding needs to be developed between commercial banks and green SMEs. For green SMEs, it is sometimes hard to understand what documentation is required by banks, whereas commercial banks have challenges to fully understand the green sector and what is behind green products and technologies.

Although green SMEs, as any other business, are looking to be viable in order to sustain their operations, they face specific challenges in growing their operations. This includes sometimes high upfront costs and a lack of monetary indicators for returns of green business models. These challenges point to the need for financial products and conditions to be tailored towards the specific business models and constraints of environmentally sustainable enterprises.

We would like to thank our two speakers and all our participants for fruitful discussions and look forward to connecting again soon during the upcoming UGEFA Green Entrepreneurship Day as part of Kampala Innovation Week from 26-28 November.

Are you interested in exploring these and related topics further? At UGEFA, we facilitate access to finance for green SMEs in partnership with Ugandan banks. Contact us now at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

You are welcome to explore further sessions as part of #SankalpVirtual2020 here.

Contact Info

adelphi research gGmbH
Alt-Moabit 91
10559 Berlin

Project Partners

European Union
European Union

Finding XY
The Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator is funded fully by the European Union and implemented by adelphi research gGmbH and Finding XY