Following the sessions held in October 2016, details shared at https://www.ranlab.org/enventure-bootcamp-2016, on Friday 24th and Saturday February 25th  2017, Makerere University School of Public Health- ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) www.ranlab.org in partnership with ENVenture Enterprises https://www.enventureenterprises.org/ hosted a two-day boot camp event. This engagement brought together representatives from 10 Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) alongside their business development fellows/coaches from various parts of Uganda.

The ENVenture Enterprise is implementing a project idea directed towards launching sustainable clean energy enterprises in partnership with potential Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) based at the grassroots level. These enterprises deal in affordable, clean, efficient, effective, user and environmentally friendly energy technologies such as; solar lamps and panels, improved cook stoves, making of briquettes, water filters among others. The project seeks to address the challenge of low distribution and low accessibility of these clean energy technologies at the grassroots level so as to mitigate the effects of climate change. The CBO’s benefit from a revolving loan given to them, capacity building sessions organized by ENVenture and business development fellows/coaches who are recruited and placed with these teams to help in business growth, sustainability and development.

The boot camp was therefore a capacity building event organized for these CBO’s and business development fellows to kick start with establishing the enterprise and also equipping themselves with the relevant knowledge for business growth, sustainability and development.

Prof. William Bazeyo, the Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party graced the opening of this event. He welcomed all participants, thanked ENVenture for the partnership and for leading the organization and implementation of the event activities. ‘Thank you Aneri and team for choosing to do all this with RAN, I am sure that this will go a long way in further impacting the communities’ shared Prof. Bazeyo. He also briefly shared with all the RAN overview and encouraged the CBO’s to seek and explore more opportunities for development and growth as they are already in the system. Prof. Bazeyo also thanked USAID Washington D.C for putting the RAN team in link with Aneri and the ENVenture Enterprises Team urging all to further explore the opportunities of working together in order to positively impact the target communities.

After those few remarks, Aneri Pradhan, the Executive Director of ENVenture took over the flow and thanked Prof. Bazeyo for the welcome remarks. She also welcomed the CBO’s and business development fellows to the event and gave an overview of the ENVenture Enterprises project stating clearly the project mission, vision and objectives. Aneri then led a presentation and discussion on the business roadmap from start to the end in line with establishing a clean energy store. Among the necessities, she highlighted included the following; conducting market research, creation of the store structure, budget drafting, creation of ordering forms, file management, placing of suppliers orders, marketing/advertising, after sales and trainings. These would help CBO’s to grow, sustain and develop the clean energy enterprise.

Following that brief session with Aneri, Julius Mujuni, the Country Director of ENVenture Enterprises gave a presentation on Finance 101. Among some of the information presented included; finance, financial management system and its importance, planning, organizing, book keeping and stoke management. This session benefitted the CBO’s in as far as managing their finances is concern, one of the key aspects in managing enterprises.

After 15 minutes of a break, Harriet Adong, RAN Communications Manager led another interesting and interactive session on project management 101 for enterprises. In her presentation, she narrated her own experience having poorly managed a project as a case study. She delved into what a project is, project management system and the phases of a project including; initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation and finally the closing stages.

Irene kutuyi, a Business Consultant and Programs Director with Women in Technology, Uganda (WITU) took on participants with another informative session on Accounting 101. She presented about financial accounting, financial management system, and book keeping clearing sharing the steps in there.

In a bid to gain deep empathy and individual thoughts, insights and lessons about the previous sessions, a break out session followed these presentations where participants were split in to three groups. Each group had a facilitator who then kept on rotating after every 15 minutes until they had to meet with all the three groups. Harriet Adong facilitated Project Management, Julius Mujuni Finance 101 and Irene Kituyi Accounting 101. Each facilitator had scenarios and questions related to the specific topics. It included brainstorming while developing and building insights and lessons for business growth, sustainability and development.

After the break out session, Robert Damulira, a member of the advisory board of directors’ and the Africa Energy Coordinator World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) gave a wrap-up of the day. He thanked RAN for the partnership and hosting the event, ENVenture team for organizing the event and the CBO’s alongside their fellows for actively participating in this event. He welcomed the new CBO’s to the system while exhaustively discussing what ENVenture does, how and why.

Close to ending the day, the different groups created during the breakout session were invited to share their insights and lessons on the three topics discussed; project management, finance and accounting. The day finally ended with a group photo, cocktail and departure at leisure.

Day two was majorly characterized by presentations from manufacturers, producers and distributors of clean energy technologies. Among which included the following; D-light, barefoot power, Uganda stoves manufacturers, green bio energy, Awamu biomass energy, up energy, spouts of water and International Lifeline Fund. It involved showcasing and exhibiting the products currently being worked on by the CBOs. Among the products showcased were the following; solar lumps, solar panels, solar systems, improved cook stoves, water filters, briquettes among others.

The boot camp was officially closed with remarks, feedback and clarity on way forward by Dr. Dorothy Okello, RAN Innovations Director and Nathan Tumuhamye, the Director Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EARI Lab). ‘Thank you all for sparing your time to the activities of the boot camp, we are all lucky to benefit from these opportunities and thus let us indeed embrace lessons shared and learnt’ noted Dr. Okello.

‘Solutions through Innovation’

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