KAMPALA, UGANDA – 24th November 2023: At a gala event held last Friday 24th August 2023, dfcu Bank celebrated the end of the 6th season of the Rising Woman Campaign. The event was crowned with the announcement and award of the top 10 winners in the competition.
The Rising Woman campaign which has been implemented since 2018, is held in partnership with Monitor Publications, Uganda Investment Authority and Uganda Airlines. It is a platform for Ugandan businesswomen, whose focus is to increase access to information, business training, coaching, market access and financing solutions, to help them launch and build sustainable enterprises. In a country where women form 51% of the population and with only 38.4% of registered SMEs being women owned, Rising Woman which is based on the submisision and successful defense of business proposals, provides an avenue for growth of women-owned businesses at each stage.
The 6th season which was launched in August 2023 under the theme ‘Empowering Entrepreneurs to Succeed’ attracted participation from hundreds of women across Uganda, with 20 of them making it to the business proposal-defense stage. At the Awards Gala, the top 10 participants were rewarded with a fully funded learning trip outside of Uganda while the top 3 winners additionally received business funding in the form of cash prizes totaling to UGX 30 Million.
Speaking at the event, Charles Mudiwa, CEO– dfcu Bank thanked the partners at the forefront of Rising Woman for joining hands with dfcu to support women entrepreneurs in Uganda. He also spoke to the Bank’s heritage of bolstering the efforts and causes of Ugandan women entrepreneurs.
“dfcu Bank has been at the forefront of creating an enabling environment for women led small and medium-sized businesses in Uganda since 2007. This has seen the development of women specific programs and initiatives such as the Women in Business Program. Since its inception in 2007, over 30,000 women-owned have been enrolled into the program”, he said.
Mudiwa also reinforced dfcu Bank’s support to women led businesses through capacity building, market linkages and affordable financing solutions to help them advance their businesses. He congratulated the winners and urged them to remember their roles as sources across Uganda.
Ms. Ruth Asasira, the Head of Women in Business at dfcu Bank commended the entrepreneurs for taking part in the competition. “On behalf of dfcu Bank, I commend you for your courage, resilience, and commitment to turning your dreams into reality. The Rising Woman Campaign is a celebration of your tenacity and an acknowledgment of the unique contributions you make to our economy and society”, she said.
She further noted that Rising Woman has grown into a movement and a community of women supporting women. She encouraged women to embrace entrepreneurship and take advantage of the opportunities available through the dfcu Women in Business Program.
Martin Muhangi, Director-Investment Promotion and Business Development at Uganda Investment Authority represented Honourable. Evelyn Anite, The State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatization as the Chief Guest at the event. He commended the efforts of all the partners involved in the Rising Women Initiative for making it a beacon of empowerment by guiding women on their entrepreneurial journey. “Tonight, we gather not only to celebrate the conclusion of season 6 but also to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the women who have participated in the competition. This competition is a testament to the power of ideas and strategic thinking. It highlights the potential that women in business propel our economic growth”.
The Awards Gala was graced by Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza – Chairperson of the dfcu Women Business Advisory Council; Ms. Belinda Namutebi – a member of the dfcu Women Business Advisory Council; Prof. Sejjaaka Kaawaase – the Board Chairman of Monitor Publications Limited; Ms. Jennifer Bamuturaki, the CEO – Uganda Airlines; James Omolo, the General Manager – Africa Broadcasting Uganda Limited and Martin Muhangi, Director-Investment Promotion and Business Development at Uganda Investment Authority.
Bayaaya Specialty Coffee LTD emerged winner of the Season and took home UGX 15,000,000/-, PHIDAZ YogurFruit Food LTD, the second overall winner won UGX 10,000,000/- while Naphoyo LTD came in 3rd position and won UGX 5,000,000/-.