Green Finance Dialogue Forum 2021 | The Future of Finance is Green: Leveraging SMEs for Uganda's Green Growth

Green Finance Dialogue Forum 2021 | The Future of Finance is Green: Leveraging SMEs for Uganda's Green Growth



The Uganda Vision 2040, Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (2017), and Third National Development Plan (NDPIII) 2020/21 – 2024/25 outline clear commitments to environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive growth that prioritises green job creation, low carbon emissions, and climate resilience.

To achieve these and other targets, financing needs to be mobilised – with a target of US$1.8 billion per year. This funding is expected to be contributed from multiple sources, including the public sector, environmental fiscal reforms and subsidy reforms, sustainable procurement, certification of sustainable production and trade and inclusive green social enterprises, green energy investments and incentives, green innovation and payments for ecosystem services, and international funding (UGGDS 2017). Within this, the banking sector in Uganda must play a central role in leveraging available funding.

Opportunities for banks to align their products and services to the evolving needs of green small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expanding. Green SMEs are innovating products, services and processes that place environmental sustainability and social inclusion at their core – offering electric vehicles, transforming waste into energy or textiles, preserving nature for future generations, and much more. This is exemplified by the more than 120+ green SMEs that are currently being supported by the Uganda Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator (UGEFA) as the programme rounds out its second year.

The topic of Green Finance appeared as a major theme during this year’s Annual Bankers’ Conference; government commitments to climate action have been reinforced in the recently passed Climate Change Bill; and various first-movers – including Opportunity Bank, Equity Bank and Yako Bank as UGEFA Partner Banks – have made commitments to expanding their “green” product and service offerings.

This momentum in green finance brings potential benefits of both building a customer base of green SMEs in Uganda – thereby bolstering current SME portfolios – and accessing global green finance flows. Trends in overall green finance flows indicate that global capital earmarked for supporting green investments is expected to expand in coming years, with $867 billion in green finance committed since 2015 (CPI 2020). Global green finance funding sources are gradually expanding capital earmarked for green investments into the private sector, including SMEs, as end beneficiaries (GCF 2016, 2020; GEF 2018; SEED 2020).

These are all positive indicators that the future of finance is green in Uganda, and the future is here – captured in the positive contributions of green businesses to inclusive, green growth in Uganda.

Highlights from the Dialogue Forum

Last year’s annual Green Finance Dialogue Forum set the scene for accelerating green finance for SMEs in Uganda’s transition to a green economy. Now it is time to take the lead by celebrating bankable green SMEs and co-creating pathways to ensure that all SME finance is green finance as we step into the Uganda’s green future. This can be achieved by leveraging new opportunities in Uganda’s financial sector to expand product and service offerings that meet the needs of these green businesses.

The Green Finance Dialogue Forum 2021 will bring together around 100 financiers, policy-makers, enterprise support organisations and green businesses to explore pathways for expanding access to finance and capacity building for green SMEs across sectors.

The forum is fully funded by the European Union, and will feature:

  • Agenda-Setting Panel to align opportunities for expanding green finance in Uganda’s banking sector
  • Green Business Exhibition and Pitches showcasing environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive products, services and business models
  • Interactive Discussions on collaborative tools and tailored business development support that empowers green businesses to achieve their goals and remain competitive
  • Collaborative Practitioner Lab to co-create the next generation of supportive instruments to enable green business growth and access to finance

You are welcome to explore the full programme here.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.