In a milestone achievement, the sixth and final cycle of the UGEFA's Catalyser Programme has drawn to a close, leaving a lasting impact on 206 enterprises. They have gone through a series of 5 workshops to improve their business and financial skills needed to access financing and develop an investment project scaling positive environmental impacts and employment contributions.
The wide-reaching scope of the programme has successfully engaged a diverse array of enterprises from across Uganda. While the majority of enterprises come from the Central region (63%), a large number of enterprises from the Western region were also trained (21%). Additionally, 7% and 8% of enterprises hailed from the Eastern and Northern regions, respectively.
Diversifying across five green sectors, the programme hosted 87 enterprises from the clean energy sector and 69 enterprises specializing in green manufacturing. The third largest sector is represented by waste management enterprises (32 in total). Lastly, 12 enterprises are offering sustainable tourism experiences, while 6 enterprises with sustainable transport solutions took part in the programme.
In the quest for constant improvement and reflection, the UGEFA Team has gathered extensive feedback from the workshop participants. Acting upon these insights, the workshop structure underwent adaptations to better cater to the needs of the enterprises. As an example, some earlier participants were suggesting more time to during the workshop to work on the loan application documents, which was done during the third cycle of the Catalyser.
Overall, the enterprises were very happy with the Catalyser programme. 96.6% of all participants that took part in the final evaluation (n = 156) said that they would very likely recommend the programme to a peer enterprise. The remaining 3.4% were somewhat likely to recommend the programme. When asked how satisfied the participants were with the expertise of the facilitators of the workshop, they were rated with an average of 4.53 (with 5 being the highest rating possible). As to building their financial readiness, the enterprises were positive that the workshops helped them with that and gave a rating of 4.55 on average. The entrepreneurs also felt more prepared for future growth, rating this aspect of the workshop with 4.54 out of 5. The UGEFA Team's workshop methodology and toolkits played a pivotal role in the success of the workshops, garnering an outstanding average rating of 4.64 out of 5.
Although the Catalyser programme has concluded, UGEFA remains committed to fostering sustained growth. Many of the supported enterprises will receive the opportunity for continued support, even after a successful application for a loan. For that, UGEFA has developed its own Accelerator programme to help the enterprises scale their businesses (more information on the Accelerator can be found in an older news article here).
The recent addition of three partner banks to the UGEFA programme opens up new avenues for enterprises, promising an exciting 2024 filled with opportunities and growth.