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MTN Uganda and Allies Join Forces to Elevate Women Entrepreneurs

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mtn uganda and allies join forces to elevate women entrepreneurs
mtn uganda and allies join forces to elevate women entrepreneurs
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Several corporate organizations, including MTN Uganda, have come together to launch a new program called “Advancing Women Entrepreneurs” (AWE). The goal of this initiative is to provide support to formal enterprises led by women.

The AWE project has a vision to enhance business ownership, diversity, and equality in the supply chain. It also aims to recognize and promote women’s contributions to the technology industry.

The partners involved in this initiative are MTN Mobile Money (MOMO), The American Tower Corporation (ATC), UN Women, The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), dfcu Bank, Innovation Village, NSSF Hi Innovators, and Outbox.

Sylvia Mulinge, the CEO of MTN Uganda, expressed their commitment to creating a more inclusive society and emphasized the importance of collaboration in achieving this goal.

According to Mulinge, a World Bank study from 2019 revealed that women-owned microenterprises in Uganda generally generate 30% lower profits than their male counterparts. Factors such as lower levels of innovation, reduced use of capital and labor, and sector-based gender segregation contribute to these disparities.

The AWE project aims to have 250 women suppliers by 2025, with the goal of onboarding 50 women by the end of the current year.

MTN Uganda will be investing $4 million (Shs15bn) in this project to empower women entrepreneurs, promote diversity, and strengthen the technology sector in Uganda.

MTN and MTN Mobile Money (MOMO) will oversee the expression of interest process, provide training, and offer financial support. The American Tower Corporation will create business opportunities and assist in candidate selection, while UN Women will raise awareness and build partnerships.

The Private Sector Foundation Uganda, dfcu Bank, and Innovation Village will promote entrepreneurship, offer mentorship, and provide financial support. NSSF Hi Innovators will offer brand support and financing.

The joint statement from the entities emphasizes their commitment to increasing women’s participation in the telecom supply chain and creating a more inclusive marketplace.

Partner comments include Adekemi Ndielli from UN Women Uganda, Charles Mudiwa from dfcu Bank Uganda, Alex Rumanyika from NSSF, and Stephen Asiimwe from PSFU, all highlighting the significance of this collaborative effort.

Dorothy Kabagambe Ssemanda, CEO of ATC Uganda, stressed the need to change the current narrative where a majority of annual high spend on engineering projects is not directed towards women-owned or operated businesses.