Biogas Digesters Empower Dairy Farmers in Uganda

Biogas Digesters Empower Dairy Farmers in Uganda

Imagine: you live in a rural, off-grid village in Uganda. A few years ago, you invested your scarce savings in 5 calves. It seemed a wise investment: unlike maize or rice, cows provide income on a daily basis. However, in reality, the milk business turns out frustrating: Due to a lack of electricity and hence a cold storage facility, you can only milk once a day. Also, the traders take unfair advantage of your lack of cold storage and show up at the end of the day, offering rock-bottom prices.  Instead of the $13.80/day you could potentially earn, you earn only $4.5/day. Biogas powered fridges increase farmers revenues “This unfair power play is exactly what motivated our first clients to sign up for our biogas- powered gas fridge”, explains Gabriel Okello, COO of Green Heat. “Many of them had never heard of biogas technology, were unfamiliar with gas-fridges and hence had concerns about the performance and lifetime of the system. However, they were so frustrated with the status quo that they took the risk and invested $3,000, a very significant amount of money. Luckily, the biogas- digester proved to be a profitable investment: 4 of the first 5 customers used the fridge to expand their business activities, by adding more cows or by producing yogurt. The good news travelled fast and in the following months, 23 more farmers ordered a system.   Sustainable alternative for firewood Gabriel and his co-founder Vianney, established Green Heat in 2011. “The business idea all started out of laziness”, Gabriel tells laughingly. “I grew up in a rural village and as a kid, I...

BiD Network launches market research in Rwanda & Uganda

We all know the obstacles hampering SME growth. They are access to knowledge, access to finance and access to markets. Access to knowledge is a broad term. Hence, the variety of actors providing access to knowledge is large. The GIIN and Open Capital’s recent publication about East Africa sought to make an attempt to map the larger Business Development Services providers. However, the sector is scattered, consisting out of many individual consultants. Which are the organizations specifically designed to provide Business Development Services? How do SMEs that made use of these services rate them? Who pays for these services? These are the questions we are seeking to answer by means of a market research project and we need your help. Are you an SME and have you made use of Business Development Services? We want to hear from you! Please fill in our survey here. Are you an intermediary and have you ever purchased or provided Business Development Services? Please let us know here! Thank you and keep an eye out on the website and blog to stay updated on this market...

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...

Success story: investment for Ugandan eco-resort Banana Village

21 years ago, Jemimah Semakadde started an eco-resort near Entebbe in Uganda. Initially meant as affordable holiday accommodation for local travelers, today Banana Village welcomes visitors from all over the world. With the help of BiD Network, Jemimah was able to find the investment needed to further expand and improve her resort. Banana Village was founded in 1994. “We bought the place to build a family home. However, the property is quite extensive and this brought us to the idea to start a budget accommodation to cater for our local people who could not afford the more expensive hotels, especially for their honeymoons.” Around 2000, more and more visitors from outside Uganda and Africa started to discover Uganda and enjoyed their stay at Banana Village. Via the website and Trip Advisor, guests from all around the world find out about the resort and share their recommendations. Still staying within an affordable price range, Banana Village is able to offer a comfortable place to stay in a peaceful and natural environment: “it is what people come here for and what they enjoy most.” What did you need the investment for? “From the start, we have been able to reach a domino effect: as we would build one hut, it would provide us with the money to build the next one, and so on. It has been going on like that until I received the investment needed and was enabled to put a much bigger effect on the property.” Before the investment, Banana Village had 21 rooms. The loan made it possible for Jemimah to add another 9 rooms at once,...

Philanthropy Day

Today is Philanthropy Day in the Netherlands. A recent study by ABN Amro MeesPierson by the School of Business and Economics of Maastricht University shows that wealthy Dutch citizens are willing to support and be involved with socially relevant initiatives, such as social-impact investing. And this is precisely in line with BiD Network’s mission: boost economic development and create job opportunities in emerging markets, through matchmaking between entrepreneurs and investors. A waste company in Uganda that collects waste and at the same time raises awareness about recycling and public health. A mobile technology company from Rwanda that develops mobile solutions for different sectors, such as agriculture and healthcare, while providing the Rwandan youth with new skills and job opportunities by offering code programs to schools and universities.These are just two examples of social entrepreneurs from emerging countries, who are able to start, grow and expand their businesses with the support of funds or (private) investments. They already have a solid business plan and growth potential. What they need is finance. BiD Network prepares entrepreneurs from emerging markets for finance. Our matchmakers and experienced advisors bring entrepreneurs together with interested investors. Business angels in our network are not so much looking for a maximum return – because these are high-risk investments – but more for a way to make a difference. They are dedicated and willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Join us Are you interested in impact investing in Africa and other emerging markets and BiD Network’s services for investors? Learn more on our investor...