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Two Ugandan startups selected for inaugural Ashoka accelerator

Johannesburg

Two Ugandan agritech startups are among the 12 companies that were picked from six African countries to participate in the 2018/2019 Ashoka African Social Investment Accelerator, a project that supports social entrepreneurs in refining their business models in order to attract investment.

The startups are Nampya Farmer’s Market and the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises Limited (NUCAFE).

Nampya is a local mobile-based enterprise that offers a tech-enabled sourcing and distribution platform for agricultural produce to retail outlets in urban centers.

Established in 2016, Nampya is operating a mobile-based, cashless and business-to-business supply for retail outlets, kiosks, stalls, and restaurants. At Nampya, a vendor makes an order using our platform and we reliably show up to their door-step with low-cost and better-quality stock than what informal markets can provide.

On the other hand, Nucafe is an umbrella National coffee farmers’ organization founded in 2003 as a successor of the Uganda Coffee Farmer’s Association (UCFA). Nucafe has grown and evolved as a vibrant private sector led farmer organization formed to serve and position farmers well in the liberalized coffee value chain in Uganda.

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Ashoka, a non-profit organization has been in social entrepreneurship for over 35 years, finding, selecting and supporting leading social entrepreneurs from 85 countries.

The acceleration programme will run for 6 months. In the first edition, entrepreneurs will be provided with tailored advice and the necessary tools to develop and validate their business strategies, and link them with funding sources and support to negotiate successful investments.

Other startups that were selected are from Kenya, which had the highest number, Egypt, Benin, South Africa and Ghana.

These are UjuziKilimo, Totohealth, Safi Organics, Farmers Pride, Tru Trade Ltd, Exportunity GBC 2, Last Mile for BoP, mumm, Project Maji, and Maintenance and Sustainability Africa.

The programme kicked off on Tuesday with a two-day bootcamp in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thirty-six top-tier experts from the highest levels of business, finance, and consulting are attending.

The startups will complete the first four modules of the Social Investment Toolkit, led by its developer Mark Cheng, a social impact investor and director of Ashoka Europe.

In the coming months, the entrepreneurs will complete four more modules virtually, as well as taking part in dedicated mentoring and advising sessions from a cohort of experts designated to each venture.

This will be in preparation for the pitching competition in front of angel and major social impact investors at a high-level closing event in March of next year.

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