Finance (523)

Ham Enterprises Files Motion To Stay Supreme Court Ruling In Case Against DTB Bank

Following the summons by the supreme court on June 8, 2023, for pre-hearing of the application for judgement on the admission of illegalities not substantially addressed by the court of appeal where unfortunately outside normal court procedure, Hon. Justice Elizabeth Musoke shocked court by saying that the Chief Justice instructed her not to entertain the application but rather inform the applicants that delivery of judgement in the main appeal is on June 13, 2023 which is contrary to article 28 of the constitution which provides for the right to a fair, speedy and public hearing to all Ugandans by an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law and equally contrary to article 44(c) of the constitution provides that Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, there shall be no derogation from enjoyment of the right to fair hearing. So every Ugandan has the right to be heard.


This compelled Ham Ent through its lawyers to instantly file an application for the arrest of the scheduled judgement as it arose out of bias and perhaps the honourable court could not determine the main appeal before hearing and determining a miscellaneous application for judgement based on the bank’s admission to committing illegalities both in the high court and the Supreme Court.


 In their application for the arrest of Judgement, Ham noted that:
A. Civil Application No 051/2021 Ham Enterprises Ltd & 2 Ors vs "Diamond Trust Bank (U) Ltd & Diamond Trust Bank (K) Ltd which was filed by the Applicants seeking orders for judgement on admission, be heard and finally determined by the court."
B. The Applicants be granted leave to adduce additional evidence from the Central Bank of Kenya to elucidate and substantiate the illegality committed by the 2nd Respondent in respect of the disputed credit transactions between the "Applicant and the 2nd Respondent, the subject of this Appeal."
C. This Honourable Court be pleased to arrest it' s Judgment in Supreme Court Civil Appeal No 13/2021 which is scheduled to be delivered on the 13th of June 2023 at 10:30 a.m pending the hearing and determination of Civil Application No 051 /2021 and the application for leave to adduce additional evidence.
D. This Honourable Court be pleased to issue further and better orders as shall meet the ends of justice.
E. Costs of the Application be provided for.

Ham Ent Application for Arrest of Judgement

TAKE FURTHER NOTiCE that the grounds in support of this application "herein are contained in the supporting affidavit of Hamis Kiggundu," the  3rd  Applicant   and  a   director   of   the   1 st   and   2nd  Applicants". respectively and a further affidavit of Edwin Lubanga, which shall be read and relied upon at hearing but briefly are that;"

1The  Applicants  filed  a  memorandum  of  appeal  in  Supreme Court Civil Appeal No 13/2021 in which they raised 7 grounds of appeal  to wit;

  1. The learned Justices of Appeal erred in law and fact when they avoided to adjudicating the substantial question of illegality which was the basis of the Respondents Appeal before them.

Ham’s Application for Arrest of Judgement.

When KCB Bank without consent illegally opened fake accounts in Tirupati's name

Through court documents (Civil Suit No. 15 of 2022), Tirupati Development (U) Limited (the plaintiff) says KCB Bank Uganda and KCB Bank Kenya (respondents) from whom it had acquired a US$ 7,000,000 loan in 2012 created illegal bank accounts without her consent and used it to launder money.

Tirupati through her lawyers Aegis Advocates and Kirunda & Wasige Advocates says that in August 2016, KCB Bank ‘opened and operate two separate US Dollar-denominated loan accounts the names of the Plaintiff without the Plaintiff’s knowledge or consent.’

These were account number 1059906732 with KCB Bank Kenya and account number 2150226057 with KCB Bank Uganda. Also, in January 2017, KCB Bank Uganda opened and operated another new US dollar current account No. 2290351628 in the name of the plaintiff without the plaintiff’s authorization, consent or knowledge.

Tirupati says they never received any ‘coherent explanation’ for opening these ‘illegal’ accounts and when they demanded a reconciliation of accounts, clarity on the status of their loan repayments, and bank statements, none was honoured causing the plaintiff not to meet her loan obligations.

KCB Bank fails to explain abnormally  

Tirupati, between 2018 and 2021, wrote a series of letters to the banks raising several observed irregularities in its bank accounts including committed fraud and conspiracy to defraud. The bank failed to explain the inconsistent loan statements and balances observed by the plaintiff on her accounts.

Tirupati also believes that the banks were using bank accounts they created in their names to launder money thereby exposing the plaintiff and its directors to the potential prosecution for money laundering. 

The plaintiff says KCB Bank failed to manage the risk of financial crime and IT fraud when they maintained separate ledgers for the plaintiff’s accounts. Similarly, Tirupati says, the bank utilized her accounts in a manner that made any audit trail difficult to avoid scrutiny by regulators and law enforcement in Uganda and Kenya.

Huge monies laundered? 

In this claim of fraud and money laundering, KCB Bank facilitated the unauthorized use of the plaintiff’s accounts to transact in varying amounts between 2014 and 2021 totalling US Dollars 79,900,000 and 62 similar transactions totalling UGX. 315,992,747 which transactions bore no relationship to the plaintiff or its businesses for the period evaluated but appear in the names of the plaintiff.

"The plaintiff avers and contends that the 2nd and 3rd Defendant continues to this day to launder money through her named accounts. These actions did and continue to expose the plaintiff, its shareholders and directors to the legal and financial consequences and sanctions arising from the suspicion of engaging in illicit money laundering and probable terrorist financing, likely corruption, or payments procured through drug or child and sex trafficking through the illegal use of her accounts threatening her entire business enterprise."

With this suit, Tirupati wants the court to declare that KCB Bank breached the loan contract, is a fraudulent bank, neglected its fiduciary duties, failed to manage plaintiff accounts, failed to manage the risk of financial crime, cause the bank to return 20 certificates of title, account for all sums misappropriated with interest, declare that bank engaged in money laundering, pay fines and general damages and costs of the suit.

KCB Bank refuses to cooperate 

In an attempt to solve the impasse, Tirupati demanded that the bank operating in most countries of the East African Community provide key documents relating to the transactions of the US$ 7,000,000 loan acquired in 2012 including repayments and penalties. KCB refused. 

It is at this point that Tirupati filed a Miscellaneous Application No. 0707 OF 2022 In the High Court of Uganda at Kampala (Civil Division) against the bank. 

Tirupati seeks court intervention 

The application sought the court to order of discovery and production of all the documents listed herein, in possession of the respondents in support of their defenses. 

The documents sought by the applicant include those related to the loan transaction and loan account origination, negotiation, approval, processing, key facts documents, management, and closure. Specifically, the applicant requested documents pertaining to the loan accounts, various bank accounts in the applicant’s name, fraud detection policies, investment origination and management, IT policies, cyber security, digital forensics, and money laundering policies since the enactment of the Anti Money Laundering Act in 2013.

The application was supported by an affidavit from Mrs Kruti Barot, the Managing Director of Tirupati Development (U) Ltd. Mrs Barot highlighted several causes of action alleged by the applicant against the respondents, including negligence, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of statutory duty, money laundering, and fraud. She emphasized the importance of the requested documents in determining the respondents’ authority to open and operate accounts in the applicant’s name and the legitimacy of the various transactions. 

Court delivers ruling on the application 

After considering the submissions from both parties, Justice Ssekaana Musa ruled in favour of the applicant. The court held that the requested documents were relevant to the main suit and necessary for a fair resolution of the dispute. However, the court also acknowledged that some of the requested documents lacked specificity and cautioned against engaging in a fishing expedition.

In the application Justice Ssekaana order that:-

(a) The loan transaction and loan account origination, negotiation, approval, processing, key facts documents, management, and closure in respect of the following accounts:

I. Loan accounts No. 1059906732 with the 2nd respondent and loan account number 215022605732 with the 1st respondent

II. US dollar current account No. 22900351628 in the applicant’s name opened by the 1st respondent.

III. USD Account Number 2201449317 in the applicant’s name with the 1st respondent

IV. Uganda shillings account number 2201449287 in the applicant’s name with the 1st respondent.

And the costs shall be in the cause.

The ruling underscores the principle that discovery should not be used as a tool for a broad inspection of an adversary’s records but should be specific and consistent with the applicant’s case as pleaded. The court balanced the right to privacy and confidentiality with the need for a fair determination of the case.

The order for discovery signifies a significant development in the legal proceedings, allowing the applicant to obtain crucial documents that may shed light on the alleged breach of fiduciary duty and other claims. The case will now proceed with the production and examination of the requested documents, bringing the parties closer to a resolution.


Court Orders KCB To Avail Key Documents In Case Filed By Tirupati


The high court (civil division) of Kampala has in a ruling asked KCB Bank (respondents) to provide key documents in a case versus Tirupati Development Ltd (applicants). 

This ruling of miscellaneous application No 0707 of 2022 arises from civil suit No. 15 of 2022. The suit was premised on a loan facility that the applicant obtained from the respondents wherein the plaintiff challenges the breach of fiduciary duty by the respondents.

The applicant brought the current application seeking an order for discovery and production of various documents in the possession of the respondents to support their defenses.

The documents sought by the applicant include those related to the loan transaction and loan account origination, negotiation, approval, processing, key facts documents, management, and closure. Specifically, the applicant requested documents pertaining to the loan accounts, various bank accounts in the applicant’s name, fraud detection policies, investment origination and management, IT policies, cyber security, digital forensics, and money laundering policies since the enactment of the Anti Money Laundering Act in 2013.

"Under Order 10 Rule 12 of the Civil Procedure Rules, any party may, without filing any affidavit, apply to court for an order directing any other party to make discovery on oath of the documents which are or have been in his or her possession or power, relating to any matter in question in the suit," Justice Sekaana writes in his ruling.

The application was supported by an affidavit from Mrs. Kruti Barot, the Managing Director of Tirupati Development (U) Ltd.

Barot, in the main suit, alleges several causes of action against the respondents and these include: negligence, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of statutory duty, money laundering and fraud.

The applicant also contests the manner in which the loan facilities were managed specifically the respondent’s action of creating or opening and operating various accounts in the names of the applicant, without her knowledge or consent and in contravention of the laws in place in Uganda.

The applicant also contended that the documents sought are relevant to the head suit pending.  

And in his ruling, Justice Sekaana ruled that application was successful to the extent that the respondent should avail the requested for documents to the applicant without fail andbalso meet the costs.

Uganda Development Bank to Support 19 Companies in Bunyoro

By George Busiinge

At least 19 companies in Bunyoro sub-region are set to benefit from Uganda Development Bank (UDB) financial support.

Speaking during an annual media briefing organized by UDB at Bwendero Dairy Farm, one of the bank’s development partners, Joshua Mwesigwa, the Director of Strategy UDB says the bank has approved new loan applications for different companies.

He says the approved loan is Sh984 billion adding that the loan was increased from Sh635 billion from the year 2021 to 2022.

He notes that the industrial sector, comprising manufacturing and agro-industry received the highest number of approvals worth Sh454.75 billion with primary agriculture receiving Sh96.75 billion.

Mwesigwa adds that the approved funds will support 249 projects and these projects are expected to create 35,372 new jobs. He added that sh9.3 trillion worth of output value, turnover from the business financed.

He noted that the approved funds will support 249 projects and these projects are expected to create 35,372 new jobs. He added that sh9.3 trillion worth of output value, turnover from the business financed.

Mwesigwa added that they also expect to generate Sh393.79 billion in tax revenue for the government and attract foreign exchange earnings equivalent to Sh1, 579 billion.

He explained that last year, 19 projects were approved in Bunyoro region worth Sh18.3 billion adding the investment will create 432 jobs in the region.

He says that the initiative is aimed at promoting and developing the key growth and priority sector of the economy which include agriculture both primary and Agro-processing, manufacturing, tourism and targeted intervention to support infrastructure and human capital development.

John Magara, the director of Bwendero Dairy Farm says with the support of UDB, they moved into industrial development. 

He says they have managed to install a sugar plant that produces 750 tons of sugarcane per day and established a sugarcane plantation on 2500 acres as well as registering 257 sugarcane out-growers. 

He adds that with the partnership with UDB, BDF has contributed at least Sh6bn in taxes over the last 5 years and purchased 86974 tons of Sugar cane from farmers which amount to Shs8.6bn.

Grace Mary Mugasa, the State Minister for Public Service has commended UDB for supporting citizens to be able to engage in industrialization.

However, she challenged the people of Bunyoro not only to focus on growing sugarcane but only get interested in production of food.

The state minister for Bunyoro Affairs Jenifer Namuyangu commended the Bwendero Dairy Farm for embracing industrialization.

Sharp, Long-Lasting Slowdown To Hit Developing Countries Hard

Global growth is slowing sharply in the face of elevated inflation, higher interest rates, reduced investment, and disruptions caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to the World Bank's latest Global Economic Prospects report. 

Given fragile economic conditions, any new adverse development—such as higher-than-expected inflation, abrupt rises in interest rates to contain it, a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, or escalating geopolitical tensions—could push the global economy into recession. This would mark the first time in more than 80 years that two global recessions have occurred within the same decade. 

The global economy is projected to grow by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024. The sharp downturn in growth is expected to be widespread, with forecasts in 2023 revised down for 95% of advanced economies and nearly 70% of emerging market and developing economies. 

Over the next two years, per-capita income growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to average 2.8%—a full percentage point lower than the 2010-2019 average. In Sub-Saharan Africa—which accounts for about 60% of the world's extreme poor—growth in per capita income over 2023-24 is expected to average just 1.2%, a rate that could cause poverty rates to rise, not fall. 

"The crisis facing development is intensifying as the global growth outlook deteriorates," said World Bank Group President David Malpass. "Emerging and developing countries are facing a multi-year period of slow growth driven by heavy debt burdens and weak investment as global capital is absorbed by advanced economies faced with extremely high government debt levels and rising interest rates. Weakness in growth and business investment will compound the already-devastating reversals in education, health, poverty, and infrastructure and the increasing demands from climate change." 

Growth in advanced economies is projected to slow from 2.5% in 2022 to 0.5% in 2023. Over the past two decades, slowdowns of this scale have foreshadowed a global recession. In the United States, growth is forecast to fall to 0.5% in 2023—1.9 percentage points below previous forecasts and the weakest performance outside of official recessions since 1970. In 2023, euro-area growth is expected at zero percent—a downward revision of 1.9 percentage points. In China, growth is projected at 4.3% in 2023—0.9 percentage point below previous forecasts. 

Excluding China, growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to decelerate from 3.8% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023, reflecting significantly weaker external demand compounded by high inflation, currency depreciation, tighter financing conditions, and other domestic headwinds. 

By the end of 2024, GDP levels in emerging and developing economies will be roughly 6% below levels expected before the pandemic. Although global inflation is expected to moderate, it will remain above pre-pandemic levels. 

The report offers the first comprehensive assessment of the medium-term outlook for investment growth in emerging market and developing economies. Over the 2022-2024 period, gross investment in these economies is likely to grow by about 3.5% on average—less than half the rate that prevailed in the previous two decades. The report lays out a menu of options for policy makers to accelerate investment growth. 

"Subdued investment is a serious concern because it is associated with weak productivity and trade and dampens overall economic prospects. Without strong and sustained investment growth, it is simply impossible to make meaningful progress in achieving broader development and climate-related goals," said Ayhan Kose, Director of the World Bank's Prospects Group. 

"National policies to boost investment growth need to be tailored to country circumstances but they always start with establishing sound fiscal and monetary policy frameworks and undertaking comprehensive reforms in the investment climate." 

The report also sheds light on the dilemma of 37 small states—countries with a population of 1.5 million or less. These states suffered a sharper COVID-19 recession and a much weaker rebound than other economies, partly because of prolonged disruptions to tourism.

In 2020, economic output in small states fell by more than 11%— seven times the decline in other emerging and developing economies. The report finds that small states often experience disaster-related losses that average roughly 5% of GDP per year. This creates severe obstacles to economic development. 

Policymakers in small states can improve long-term growth prospects by bolstering resilience to climate change, fostering effective economic diversification, and improving government efficiency. The report calls upon the global community to assist small states by maintaining the flow of official assistance to support climate-change adaptation and help restore debt sustainability.

Post Bank Goes Smart With New Cardless ATMs

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

In a bid to offer more convenient and up to date services to costumers, state owned  Bank  Post Bank Uganda Limited has introduced smart ATMs that can be used with or without ATM cards as it’s latest innovation.

Some of the value added services customers can take advantage of with these new Smart ATMs include larger deposits of up to 30 million Ugx and cheaper money transfer services across the country.

According to Post Bank Uganda's CEO Julius Kakeeto, the introduction of these Smart ATMs is part of the bank’s medium term strategy to move from the mainly brick and mortar banking to integrate more digital channels into the services they offer their customers.

“ Our newly introduced Smart ATMs will offer greater convenience, save time and cut transaction costs for our customers too as they will be able to bank up to 30 million Ugx through our smart ATMs some thing the old machines didn’t have which will offer convenience mainly for SMEs that close business late and need to bank their cash for safe custody.”  

Getting rid of the long queues in the bank something  we have also been working tirelessly towards since we embarked on this digitisation strategy in 2020. This drive has been boosted with these new full self service Smart ATMs which will ensure more types of transactions and larger transactions sizes can be done at any of our 60 Smart ATMs across the country.

Besides being able to transact using these machines with just your fingers and no need for an ATM card, Customers need not to worry about fraud and crime with in these new smart ATMs and other digital applications of the bank according to Andrew Kabeera the Bank’s Executive Director.

“We have ensured that as management, the bank staff have the type of skills with in our Human resources and the necessary technology too to make sure our customers transactions are safe and fraud can be averted quickly by investing over $4 million dollars in advanced systems to guarantee this” he said.

Presiding over the function as the Chief Guest, State Minister for Finance Honorable Henry Musasizi applauded Post Bank for this new innovation.

“ As government we are looking at mainly two things to uplift our people from poverty. The first one is integrating every one into the monetized economy and secondly ensuring cheap and affordable capital reaches our low income citizens scattered across the country all of which these new Smart ATMs and Post Bank’s digitisation drive will support.”

 As a result we commend post bank for this great innovation and pledge to work with it to ensure the success of our programs as government going forward especially the Parish Development model we are now rolling out country wide he added.

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SMEs Have A Critical Role In Creating Jobs & Incomes - Miraj Barot

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries like Uganda are critical when pursuing sustainable growth because they create jobs, are innovative and pay taxes to government, Miraj Barot, the Managing Director of Tirupati Group Of Companies, told a high-level conference in Kampala.

“SMEs have played a more successful role in increasing employment and arranging incomes; they are drivers of sustainable economic growth. As they say, little drops of water make a mighty ocean; similarly, smallscale industries can combine and make a huge economy,” Miraj said.

He was speaking at the Religion & Enterprise Africa Summit 2022 event on Saturday at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. The Summit was organized by Human Capital International Uganda under the theme ‘entrepreneurial transformation through faith-based innovation, investment, trade and technology.’

Miraj, who was discussing the topic ‘Advantages of Having SMEs in Developing Countries’, explained that SMEs have competitive structures and strategies and can easily adapt to changes. “During covid19, a tailor who was making clothes for people suddenly started making masks; SMEs are highly flexible,” he said.

He said that for success, SMEs need to be faithful to their religions inorder to be able to do good, be ethical and with high levels of integrity. "It is very important to have these values instilled in us in our youth so that they not only maintain social values of our families but also the entire country to prosper at large.

GEN SALIM SALEH: The Powerful Invisible Hand Fighting To Save Bitature's Empire From Shs177bn Loan Debt

By Abbas Kabonge 

Businessman Patrick Bitature woes involving his South African lenders continue to intrigue Ugandans who each day wonder how he will sort his financial mess especially now when the country is limping due to the harsh economic times.

To pay or not pay is the question on the mind of Ugandans regarding the loan worth about Shs177bn that hangs on the head of one of Uganda’s astute businessmen who have been able to build a fortune in a manner that many cannot explain. 

During the days when the registrar of companies was working on an application by Vantage Mezzanine Fund 11 partnership seeking to transfer Bitature's estate for onward auction, the businessman learned of the same and swung into action. 

By this time, the registrar of companies had listened to the submissions of the lawyers of Vantage in the absence of Bitature lawyers. The registrar was on the verge of delivering a ruling placing Bitature's estate on the auction stall. 

Bitature somehow learned of what was going on and quickly dispatched his lawyers of Muwema and company advocates to thwart what was going on. Inside information indicate that Bitature's lawyers requested to be made part of the ongoing proceedings since what was going on had the effect of gravely affecting his interests. 

Vantage smelt a rat and informed the registrar how Bitature had gatecrashed the proceedings. They argued that Bitature was wrongly before the tribunal. This is since, they pointed out, the borrower had agreed while taking the loans in 2014, for the securities to be unconditionally altered and sold off upon his failure to pack back the loans.

Despite those explanations coupled with the fact that Bitature was actually in absolute default of the debts, the registrar went ahead and stopped the proceedings half way. The registrar even went ahead and placed the file containing the proceedings itself, on the shelves to gather dust. 

Bitature's lawyers had exploited the arbitration process in London in respect of this dispute, to move the registrar to do what she did. Seething with anger and completely unaware of the side-games going on, the lenders proceeded for a review of the registrar's ruling. 

The South Africans would end up not liking at all what transpired before Justice Musa Ssekaana. Other than overruling the registrar, the judge instead invalidated the whole debt worth Shs177Bn.  

He ruled that since the lenders hadn't registered their dealings with Bitature, before going ahead to lend money to him, such a breach invalidated the subsequent loan transactions themselves. 

We now understand that prior to all these happenings, Bitature had petitioned one of President Yoweri Museveni's powerful brothers and confidant, Gen Salim Saleh to rescue his empire from auction over these loans. 

Amidst emphatic moves by the South African lenders, Bitature is known to have met Saleh in Namunkekera, Nakaseke, Luweero. The president's fond sibling has been camping there in Namunkekera whilst overseeing industries being set up but numerous investors. 

The purpose of Bitature's visit was to plead with the powerful Saleh to save his empire from the auction that was pending given his failure to clear the debts he had acquired from Vantage. Fortunately, Bitature is one of the regime's erstwhile supporters and campaigners.  

So, Saleh was readily at hand to listen to his woes as well as do the needful. Still unaware of the evil hand behind what was going on; the lenders not only appealed, but also advertised Bitature's empire for sale. 

Justice Stephen Mubiru kind of overturned Ssekaana's ruling but as we all know by now, a slightly higher court led by Justice Christopher Gashibarake has since intervened and put the auction of Bitature's empire on hold. 

Incidentally, in order to appease the lender and solve the impasse, tax payers' money is about to be unleashed to clear Bitature's personal debts.

Young Business Women Showcase At Luwero Women’s Market Exhibition

Over 100 young women showcased their small businesses at a special women’s business market exhibition aimed at empowering them.

The exhibition, dubbed “Women’s Day Katale”, was hosted by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Uganda’s apex body for the private sector, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative in Uganda in celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 themed, “investing in young women for a sustainable tomorrow.”

Speaking at the event hosted at Kasana Sports Grounds in Luwero, Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko - the Vice Chairperson of the PSFU Board said, “Through this initiative, we are re-echoing our recognition of the contributions, resilience, and potential of young women in Uganda. This Women’s Day Katale provides an opportunity for young women in Luweero to gain linkages for their goods, products, and services to the available market.”

The exhibitors received business development support through free financial literacy, brand image consultancies, and guidance on embracing technology to support their long-term business objectives while ensuring sustainability and excellence.

In his address, Adrian Bukenya, Uganda Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation, highlighted the fact that Uganda, has one of the highest proportions of women-owned businesses anywhere in the world.

“It is up to all of us to ensure young women and men have the support they need to drive change in their communities, and contribute to our economy as equals. We need to work with intentionality, urgency, and at scale to enable systems-level changes that will catalyze opportunities for young women in Uganda and in fact the continent.” 

Bukenya commended the exhibitors for their skills, creativity, and value and highlighted two young women who participated in the exhibition.  Nineteen-year old Namato Shamira, who recently enrolled in the URDT (Uganda Rural Development Training Institute), expanding her tailoring skills and learning to make shoes and bags. She started her own business, tripled her income, and plans to pay forward her experience to 30 other young women. 

Thirty-year old Bernadette Ojao’s struggle started after dropping out of high school and she spent almost three years searching for a job to earn a living and look after her family. Her luck changed when a friend gave her a sewing machine.

She, however, did not have skills or knowledge of the fashion and design industry to put the gift to good use. When The Innovation Village, a Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works partner, put out a call to entrepreneurs, she leapt at the chance to join the creative industry.

Through upskilling and business support, she learned how to make reusable sanitary pads and reusable masks. Her first sale was 1,500 face masks to Tugende, a Bodaboda company that supplied the masks to their motorcycle riders in Kampala. Bernadette currently employs six fellow women from local communities and the slums of Kamwokya.

The exhibition, held at the Luwero Kasana Sports Grounds, attracted more than 300 participants from local government, the private sector, and the community.

Stanbic Bank National Schools Championship Returns

The acclaimed Stanbic Bank Uganda annual National Schools’ Championship (NSC) is back, and participants have up to March 8, 2022 to submit their business idea entries to stand a chance of winning grand prizes worth over UGX60million.

At least 60, 000 students from more than 100 Ugandan secondary schools are expected to participate in the months’ long grueling enterprise challenge that will climax in October with outstanding business ideas standing a chance of being linked to investors on top of winning expensive prizes from the bank.

Now in its seventh year, the 2022 NSC is running under the theme ‘Empowering the Job Creators of Tomorrow’ and will encourage participants to pitch especially climate smart business ideas in line with Stanbic Bank Uganda’s sustainability strategy.

“We are empowering job creators of tomorrow, but we also want to see them address global challenges such as climate change---that way, we can count on a generation of entrepreneurs that appreciate the importance of doing the right business, the right way,” said Cathy Adengo, Head of Business Sustainability at Stanbic Bank Uganda.

Launched in 2016, the NSC has registered growth each year from 32 schools participating in the inaugural year to over 100 (since 2020) with over 600 student business ideas generated.

At least 200 businesses have since been set up from the ideas submitted---90 of the 187 actively running student-led enterprises have received capital grants from the championship investor-relations initiatives that help link bankable ideas to financing.

Four-tier competition

The Stanbic National Schools Championship is a four-tier competition involving new schools (Startup Challenge); schools with existing businesses BizGrow Challenge); alumni (AlumGrow Challenge) and teachers (TeachGrow Challenge).

Participating students will have to compete in several qualifying rounds, including attending a boot-camp after which a winner is identified at a grand finale in September.

In the bootcamp, participants are taught different skills including business plan development, product development, customer care, communication skills, branding and marketing.

Elve Nshuti, 20-year-old alumni of the programme said, “I’ve been exposed to a variety of opportunities since my participation in the competition. Last year, I was able to win Ugx1.5million capital to invest in my tech company I-Tech Africa.

I’ve gained more exposure equitably to customers through the championship. I’ve learned to be responsible and empowered, valuing collaboration over division and long-term gain over short-term gain because this is how my future will be bright.”

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