Business plan competition: IFDC CATALIST-Uganda

IFDC, BiD Network and IRIS Consulting & Training are proud to announce the 2nd edition of the IFDC CATALIST-Uganda Agribusiness Challenge. This business plan competition is meant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in or impacting the value chains of cassava and oil seeds (soya bean and sunflower) in Northern Uganda; rice in Eastern Uganda; and Irish potato in South-Western Uganda, who are in need of technical and financial support to start or expand and professionalize their business operations. Entrepreneurs are invited to submit their business plans to become eligible for various services geared towards accessing finance and markets. About IFDC CATALIST-Uganda IFDC CATALIST-Uganda aims to sustainably commercialize smallholder agriculture through improved productivity and market development, resulting in marketable surpluses that raise incomes in Uganda, and increase regional food security for the wider East Africa and Great Lakes Region. A systems approach is employed to develop integrated cropping systems around priority commodities – Irish potato, cassava, oil seeds and rice – combined with an accelerated cluster development approach appropriate for Uganda. In addition, services are offered for input market development, output marketing, linkages to Dutch and other agribusinesses and investors, and improvement of the policy environment. The first cycle of the IFDC CATALIST-Uganda resulted in 165 business summaries being submitted and subsequently 50 full business plans after an extensive period of training and coaching. Congratulations to all partners and entrepreneurs that participated. Ten to fifteen businesses are now being selected for matchmaking services with investors and other businesses, and those not selected in the first edition are welcome to improve and submit again in this second cycle. Participation...

Week of the Entrepreneur: be inspired by border-crossing Dutch entrepreneurs

Next week, the Week of the Entrepreneur takes place in the Netherlands, an event that focuses on (starting) Dutch entrepreneurs and the future of their businesses. BiD Network does not only work with entrepreneurs from emerging markets, but also with Dutch entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a business in an emerging country. We have several years of experience in organizing a business plan competition for border-crossing Dutch entrepreneurs, called Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen, together with partners Crosswise Works (formerly NCDO) and EY. We take the Week of the Entrepreneur as an opportunity to highlight some of the Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen competition finalists from the last years.   African Clean Energy Entrepreneur Ruben Walker was one of the finalists in the 2013 competition of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen. He started his business African Clean Energy in 2011 to provide a solution for the problem of cooking on open fires with the use of dirty and dangerous fuel, which is the case for three billion people across developing countries worldwide. African Clean Energy has developed a cookstove that “burns fuel cleanly to make mealtimes a smoke-free zone.” Today, his factory, located in Lesotho, produces around 200 cookstoves a day and he wants to expand this to thousands a day in several factories.   Martono & Company: Bast With Martono & Company, entrepreneur Jeroen Janssens wants to brings more awareness to consumers with regard to barbecuing. After traveling through Indonesia, he returned with the idea to turn the waste of coconuts into a usable and eco-friendly product for barbecuing: coconut coal, an alternative to charcoal. He turned this idea into a realistic business plan...

IFDC CATALIST-Uganda Business Plan Competition For Entrepreneurs in Irish Potatoes, Rice, Oil Seeds and Cassava

IFDC CATALIST-Uganda, BiD Network and IRIS Consulting have launched a business plan competition for small and medium sized enterprises operating in or impacting the cassava, oil seeds, rice and Irish potato, value chains in Northern, Eastern and South-Western Uganda. Uganda’s economy is growing; the whole region is changing fast. Entrepreneurs in the agribusiness sector upon which most families in Uganda directly depend, will have to professionalize to become more competitive. Entrepreneurs are invited to submit their business plans to become eligible for various services geared towards accessing finance and markets. IFDC CATALIST-Uganda aims to sustainably commercialize smallholder agriculture through improved productivity and market development, resulting in marketable surpluses that raise farm incomes in Uganda, and increase regional food security for the wider East Africa and Great Lakes Region. Starting with the ‘pull’ of the market by working with commodities for which there is a strong demand, IFDC CATALIST-Uganda employs a systems approach to develop integrated cropping systems around priority commodities – Irish potato, cassava, oil seeds and rice – combined with an accelerated cluster development approach appropriate for Uganda. In addition to agricultural intensification, IFDC CATALIST-Uganda offers services for input market development, output marketing, linkages to Dutch and other agribusinesses, linkages to investors and improvement of the policy environment. To support businesses in the mentioned value chains to increase their sales and production capacity, BiD Network and IRIS Consulting will offer various services and events related to accessing new markets and finance. Participants can become eligible for Ready4Finance and Farming as a Business training, voluntary coaching/ mentoring, breakfast networking meetings, and investor and Business2Business matchmaking services. To apply, interested...

Women in Business Challenge 2013 | Spread the Word

Thank you for sharing the Women in Business Challenge 2013 with your community! In order to spread the word about the competition and connect with leaders in the field, BiD Network and partners rely on your help. We value your time, and as such have tried to make it as quick and easy as possible for you to disseminate information to your network. Simply copy and paste any of the sample posts below on your blog, newsletter, Facebook or Twitter and use any of our event images. BiD Network will also be organizing a series of Twitter Chats, using the hashtag #WIBChat. Women entrepreneurs and industry specialists will share tips, insights and words of wisdom. With the aim of analysing the challenges faced by business women, and to explore innovative solutions that foster women entrepreneurship we really hope you’ll join in the discussion too. Feel free to share with any individuals you feel would gain from or add value to the competition. You can download a copy of the media kit here but If there’s anything you need but don’t have, please don’t hesitate to email joelle.payet@bidnetwork.org Key dates for the competition include: ● January 28: First #WIBChat, a discussion on Innovative businesses created by Women for Women  ● February 26: #WIBChat, a discussion about the importance of networking for women entrepreneurs ● March 19: #WIBChat, a discussion on Access to Finance for Women Entrepreneurs ● April 30: Final deadline for full business plans ● August 2013: Five finalists selected ● September 1 – 4: Women in Business Week ● September 5: Women in Business Challenge Award Ceremony SAMPLE NEWSLETTER ITEM: Subject: Women in Business Challenge...

The grand finale of the Women in Business Competition

  This week was all about the grand finale of the fourth edition of the Women in Business Challenge (WIBC). Last Sunday we welcomed our finalists, five inspiring women, Lauren Thomas (Mozambique), Dr. Nene Sanjeevani(India), Paola de la Rosa, Jazmin Chi (Mexico) and Affiong Williams (Nigeria) at Amsterdam airport. They had a full week with training sessions, meetings and the final award ceremony hosted at the ING headquarters yesterday, 12th September 2013. BiD Week On Monday we kick-started the program with a Ready 4 Finance training during which the finalists were explained the several financial options for their companies and how to pitch their ideas to investors in a two-minute elevator pitch. Tuesday and Wednesday were dedicated to business-2-business meetings, a pitch event for investors and the interviews with the WIBC jury. The women entrepreneurs visited like-minded organisations, potential business partners, investors and tried to convince our jury of their business plan potential. Accompanied by their “buddies” they travelled the country to meet with for example De Fietsfabriek, Nutland B.V., Noordhoff Uitgevers,Yumeko and an expert in mobile clinics. Furthermore, 4 of the entrepreneurs met with a EY consultant for a financial consultancy during which the investment plans of the entrepreneurs were discussed in detail. Final Event at ING So far it was a very interesting week with promising networking moments. However, it was clear that the women came to the Netherlands with one goal; winning the competition. Yesterday, the Final Event took place at the headquarters of our main partner in this competition; ING. The event was moderated by founder and director of the BiD Network Foundation, Thierry Sanders, who welcomed Fleur Hudig, Community Investment Manager at ING, to the stage to officially open the event. She spoke...