Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an increasingly important role in tackling environmental and economic challenges in Uganda. They not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also create job opportunities and build capacities in local communities. However, a lack of access to finance hampers their growth. In order to address this issue, the Uganda Green Enterprise Finance Accelerator (UGEFA) is facilitating the flow of green finance into Uganda’s SME sector, thereby supporting the transition to a green and inclusive economy.
Supporting green SMEs on Uganda’s transition towards a green economy
2,233 registrations, 559 full applications and finally, 179 green enterprises from the following five sectors which make up UGEFA’s green enterprise portfolio: clean energy, green manufacturing, waste management, sustainable tourism and sustainable transport. Those enterprise benefit from:
a comprehensive and finance-focused accelerator programme to develop the business and financial skills needed to access financing and scale their positive environmental impacts and employment contributions
a funding facilitation facility, set up in collaboration with commercial banks, to facilitate the flow of green finance to Uganda’s SME sector.
An innovative approach to financing
In order to facilitate the flow of green finance into the Ugandan SME sector, UGEFA is applying an innovative approach by:
tackling barriers of SME finance on the finance demand and supply side
combining capacity building and innovative financial mechanisms, targeting both SMEs and financial institutions
providing support along the whole financing journey of green SMEs – from finance readiness support, funding facilitation to post-investment support.
Creating social and environmental impact in Uganda
While the green enterprises aim to create environmental impacts by, for instance, improving energy efficiency or reducing waste, they at the same time seek to have positive social effects, such as increased gender equality. This report on UGEFA’s green enterprise portfolio does, however, not only give insights into impact creation, but also lists all SME profiles, outlining not only their name and a brief description of their services, but also giving an indication of their investment plan and their enterprise scale.