In the entrepreneurship space, particularly on the African continent, a great idea and the determination to succeed are just not enough. Lack of capital for business development is one of the most common reasons why start-ups fail or never get an opportunity to scale – particularly in Africa where culturally, venture capital and angel investments are not popular means of start-up funding. More so in Uganda – one of the poorest countries in the world – grants offer a risk-free opportunity for the vast majority of early-stage entrepreneurs to test out and kickstart their ideas. We also lobby development partners to offer micro-grant financing to entrepreneurs so they can develop their Minimum Viable Products (MVP). In 2022 alone, mainly through the Youth IDEAthon, NASE is on course to disburse UNDP grants worth USD $600,000.
Essentially, “we back the jockey, not the horse”. We are growing a community of local and international investors, keen to invest in early-stage start-ups. Without these micro grants, some of these founders may never have started at all. These small micro grants go a long way in helping a start-up to prototype, register IP, test the market, etc.