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aBi enters partnership with Yunus Social Business Foundation to strengthen SMEs’ access to agribusiness finance

By April 16, 2021 No Comments

The Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi) has entered into a partnership with Yunus Social Business Foundation (YSB Uganda) aimed at promoting social business sustainability. The two agribusiness development Actors (aBi and YSB) intend to contribute toward social and economic development of Uganda through creating new opportunities to small holder farmers and communities.

Complementarity will be explored mainly in the areas of;

  • Knowledge and experience sharing on best Agri-financing best practices
  • Partner’s institutional and technical potential to receive affordable financing
  • Quality assurance mechanisms for technical assistance services

This was revealed at a meeting to launch the cooperation held on Thursday 15 April, 2021 at aBi offices in Kampala.

The aBi Group Chief Executive Officer, Josephine Mukumbya (left) and the Executive Director – YSB Uganda, Richard Tugume Tulyahikayo exchange a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at aBi offices in Kampala, 15 April 2021.

The cooperation comes in during the COVID-19 pandemic aftershocks and will greatly support SMEs and small holder farmers to build back better. Financially sustainable SMEs will be supported further to recover and stabilize through enhanced access to long term agricultural finance.

aBi’s existing or new programmes, Implementing Partners can be established and / or nurtured as financially sustainable social businesses with benefits such as increased employment, affordable and sustainable energy sources, food security and economic empowerment accruing to especially youth and women.

Initially, YSB identified Eastern Agricultural Development Company Ltd (EADC) for support with a 5-year loan to set up warehouse, processing facility and working capital. Ankole Coffee Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd in Ishaka, Western Uganda, is also in its third year for annual working capital financing from YSB.

Another potential joint Partner/client for the two entities, is Acila Enterprises Limited located in Soroti, Eastern Uganda to facilitate efficiency in the cereals and pulses value chain. Acila Enterprises Ltd is currently under due diligence for consideration for working capital for the purchase of agro inputs and farmers’ produce for Season A 2021.

Left: Acila agro- input stock outlet in Soroti; Right: Acila Enterprise Finance & Administration Manager, Ben Akabwai (long sleeves) & aBi Development Ag. Chief Operating Officer, Geoffrey Okidi inspecting maize seed consignment under the aBi – funded, COVID-19 Response project on “Increased Access to Agro – Inputs”

At the meeting, the Country Director, YSB Uganda, Richard Tugume shared about YSB Uganda’s sustainability model that focuses on both social and environmental challenges as well as commercial viability. He noted the need to promote values, virtues and ethics trainings for entrepreneurs and management, alongside traditional business development trainings; emphasizing that transparency, integrity, foresightedness, and resilience, are critical for businesses success.

In her remarks, aBi Group CEO, Josephine Mukumbya noted the alignment of the objectives of both entities and highlighted that Uganda’s recovery will also require attention to the education sector with a focus on tertiary and agribusiness training institutions considering their strong linkage to other sectors and sub -sectors like the cereals and pulses value chains.

The partners will jointly offer technical support to mitigate the losses that characterize agricultural investments.

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