We are true to the African proverb” If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”. There’s not a whole lot of good news out there at the moment regarding businesses as the economies are struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic shock.
On 23rd July 2020, Capital Solutions ltd a social enterprise based in Uganda launched a forum where Social entrepreneurs in Africa would come together be inspired, network, access finance to scale their businesses and advocate for favorable policies. The Social Entrepreneurship Forum(SEF) currently brings together 200 change makers in Uganda to connect, learn, share experiences, seek capital opportunities, market their products and be inspired to champion business for good. The Social Entrepreneurship Forum, is guided by a committee of 5 members as coordinated by capital solutions Ltd.
Our mission is to inspire and transform Africans to become successful social entrepreneurs through improved access to finance and innovative community solutions for sustainable social impact.
Celebrating the one-year journey of working together as social Entrepreneurs, we took stock of the process through a quick survey which our members participated in, as a way to enable us to serve them better as well as appreciate their needs. A self-administered online questionnaire was used. Responses from members enabled a qualitative analysis of the results and these were shared with members in an online coffee session on Friday 30th July 2021.
“I have been able to rethink my business model and changed the way I had originally planned because of the accelerator programme” Co-founder Trillion Ventures
The findings of the survey indicated that 88.8 % of the respondents confirmed that their businesses were social enterprises whereas 11.1 % were not sure. We noted that majority of the social enterprises, were in Agribusiness, Health services, education (capacity building and schools), solar energy, transport and mechanics, fashions and design, economic empowerment of youth and women, and climate change
Social Entrepreneurship is an ideal opportunity for businesses to increase their income; influence and impact by seeking an innovative business model. It could mean more influence and income opportunities within the private sector as well as creating and maintaining more impact through implementation of the 17 SDGs. With the world population projected at 9.9 billion by 2050(2020 World Population Data Sheet), social issues such as inadequate education and healthcare systems, environmental threats, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, hunger, high crime rates and political instabilities; and the need to address them will be relatively high.
One-year down the road we celebrate some achievements which have enabled the social enterprises go through the Covid pandemic while floating, these include but not limited to:
- We launched a 6-months social business accelerator programme, where over 70 social business owners have been trained,
- The social investment fund was established and now mobilizing resources that could be tapped in by social entrepreneurs. The target is to raise 1million dollar over 5 years. We hope to operationalize before end of 2021 with an initial investment targeting women and youth.
- The Social entrepreneurship forum continues to support networking of the members; the bi-weekly e-coffee sessions are held bringing a lot of learning, sharing and networking. Members are able to listen to inspiring speakers and also share their own businesses for idea picking and marketing to fellow Social entrepreneurs. Therefore, as a way of closing these challenges and in order to provide effective and efficient solutions to the challenges, The Social Entrepreneurship model may be the best way to solve problems that have existed for centuries.
- We have profiled on all our social media platforms over 25 businesses which has increased visibility.
In conclusion, the social entrepreneurship forum is an exciting opportunity for members to continue networking, learning from each other and also building their businesses.
We pledge to continuously deliver to our members what they yearn for and we look forward to a time when all social entrepreneurs in Africa will be thriving!
If you want to learn more about social entrepreneurship visit our website: www.capitalsolutionsug.com and to join our Social Entrepreneurship Forum, you can register on the link: https://capitalsolutionsug.com/register.
You can also follow us on LinkedIn: Capital Solutions, Twitter: capitalsolns and Facebook: Capital solutions UG, Instagram and You Tube: Capital solutions.
Dr Joyce N Tamale (FCCA)
The writer is the Co-Founder & CEO, Capital Solutions Ltd