SEPTEMBER 2021 | KAMPALA
In order to accelerate Uganda’s green growth, long-term financing is key. This September, the Uganda Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator (UGEFA) is pleased to have launched partnerships with three banks: Yako Bank Limited, Equity Bank Limited and Opportunity Bank Limited. The collaboration is a major step towards expanding green financing in Uganda and stands as strong evidence that the banking sector is increasingly assuming its role in ensuring environmentally sustainable economic development across Africa.
UGEFA’s partnership with commercial banks fosters a community of practice among financial institutions and other stakeholders of entrepreneurial ecosystems to provide green SME lending.
Eric Naivasha, Associate Director, Equity Group Foundation, shares: “With the glaring negative effects of climate change affecting the entire world, protection of the environment and sustainable use of our natural resources is key to all our interventions. We believe that the battle of environmental protection cannot be won by government alone. Equity, a financial corporate, is cognizant to its role in sustainable financing and strategically provides its infrastructure and expertise, to accelerate and scale programs and projects aimed at protecting our planet.”
T V Balasubramanian, Executive Director, Yako Bank notes that “As Yako bank, we are proud to be partners with UGEFA and give back to people by protecting the environment. Green financing gives more importance to environmentally friendly factors keeping our clients in a better world free from pollution and climate change dangers. Yako wishes to support the green firms in a big way.”
The imperative for decisive action by the banking sector is strengthened by ongoing challenges and the need for green recovery: “The partnership with UGEFA is aligned with our purpose to make lives of people and communities better, and foster the sustainable development goals on poverty and climate action. Uganda, as a result of the COVID 19, is dealing with the largest economic disruption in history. Businesses have been devastated because they are unable to meet their financial obligations. The program is designed to give businesses relief during this period, and will support climate smart businesses to thrive amidst these hard-economic times,” shares John Robert Okware, Chief Relations Officer, Opportunity Bank.
UGEFA partner banks will benefit from privileged access to the UGEFA pipeline of 200+ finance-ready green businesses graduating from the 6-months finance-focused UGEFA Catalyzer programme for business development. The banks will deliver a total of 6.1 million USD in debt financing by 2023 to green SMEs across sectors – from waste management, clean energy, sustainable tourism, sustainable transport, and green manufacturing, including value-added agro-processing.
The Uganda Enterprise Finance Accelerator (UGEFA) is funded fully by the European Union Delegation to Uganda. UGEFA is implemented by Finding XY, a Ugandan-based non-profit, innovation centre and business advisory firm; and adelphi Research gGmbH, a leading global independent think and do tank on environment and development.
Following the second call for application, an 82 additional green enterprises were accepted to join the 6-month UGEFA Catalyzer with loan matchmaking starting now! The next call for applications commences October 4, 2021. Are you a green business interested in benefiting from UGEFA? Register at: https://ugefa.eu/register