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Fourth Kampala Innovation Week Launched, to be Held Virtually

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Startup Uganda, an association of Ugandan Innovation and Entrepreneurial Support Organizations (IESOs) that currently counts  20 members, has announced  the fourth annual Kampala Innovation Week under the theme “Recovery & Resilience: Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a tool for the youth” today.

The event will be held virtually  from 26th to 28th of November 2020.

The KIW 2020, supported by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the International Trade Center (ITC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Enabel, aims to bring together startups, social innovators, investors, corporations, development partners and government ministries, agencies and departments to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurship and innovation in Uganda.  More specifically, a range of innovative solutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic challenges as well as opportunities that have emerged will be discussed.

The three-day event aims to:

  • Explore the different ways in which SMEs can recover and thrive in a post COVID-19 economy.
  • Highlight the ways in which various eco-system stakeholders (ESOs, governments, academia, investors etc.) can contribute to these recovery efforts.
  • Share case studies of  entrepreneurs and startups who have demonstrated resilience and innovation in tackling the impact of the pandemic .

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had various effects on businesses. Businesses have had  to reframe their models, repurpose their work streams, halt operations, or close to mention but a few. Going forward, the recovery and resilience of small and medium enterprises is critical in ensuring that lives and livelihoods are improved.” –Richard Zulu, Startup Uganda.

“COVID-19’s disruption to ‘normal’ ways of work and business across many sectors has made many more receptive to using digital solutions to address day to day challenges,” says Chris Lukolyo, the Digital Country Lead at UNCDF. “Supporting initiatives like the Kampala Innovation Week is one of the ways through which UNCDF promotes inclusive innovation to deliver services for the local digital economy.”

“We realized that we have a lot in common with Startup Uganda. Both our work involves supporting SMEs, tech hubs and startups within the Ugandan ecosystem to participate in profitable businesses through which jobs are created for the youth, men and women.  The plan is to synergize the efforts of Startup Uganda and the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF IV) Uganda project for the good of the Ecosystem by bringing together entrepreneurs, buyers, investors (both local and foreign) and policy makers to make a comfortable environment for business linkages and knowledge sharing” says John Ndabarasa, Startup Engagement Associate at NTF IV Uganda and #FastTrackTech projects of the UN – International Trade Centre

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated social distancing guidelines,  the KIW will this year be primarily virtual, and will leverage robust online resources and learning opportunities across the global innovation space to meet the needs of the startup ecosystem in Uganda. This virtual experience will include provoking conversations from thought leaders on the latest in Ugandan innovations, and collaborative discussions on concrete next steps for the startup ecosystem.

Some  foreseen discussion topics include the following:  “Shifting from damage control to sustainable renewed methods of conducting business;  “Policy and investment dialogue for ‘the new normal’”,  and “Staying ahead of the curve in order to thrive and not just survive”.

Over the course of three days, over 2000 attendees will be able to engage and network with speakers and peers, attend sessions of their choice, and virtually browse through the exhibition halls in real time through the event platform, Whova.

To register or exhibit at the event visit www.kiw.ug.

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