In the month of October, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) worked with EN Venture Enterprises to organize and host the ENVenture BootCamp, a business management and entrepreneurship workshop to build capacity of 30 representatives of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that included retailers and suppliers for locally made clean energy products across the country.  The bootcamp training focused on specific subjects including Project & Human Resource Management, Accounting and Finance principles for small businesses as well as how to develop the Business Roadmap.  Some of the products exhibited during this bootcamp including improved cooking stoves, water purification cans, and briquettes were locally made while the solar products (lamps, chargers, panels etc.) are imported. The 2 day (15th & 16th October) bootcamp was characterized with subject training sessions on Day1, pitches and a Q & A with selected clean energy equipment suppliers on Day 2.

ENVenture is a not-for-profit organization that supports selected local, clean energy businesses providing improved cooking, lighting and water purification systems for the Ugandan communities. ENVenture is founded and led by Aneri Pradhan and financially supported by USAID. The RAN Team spear headed the curriculum development ahead of the training sessions and the complete on ground mobilization for successful execution of the two days.  Additionally, while some of the RAN TEAM members facilitated some of the training sessions including project management, they also identified expert facilitators for the accounting, finance and Human Resources Management. One of the facilitators shared that “This was an opportunity for me too to learn fromthe bootcamp participants, this is a rich engagement opportunity which is enhancing cross learning, let us plan to regularly hold such bootcamps”. This bootcamp brought together cross cultural participants from the North, Central, West and Eastern regions of the country including but not limited to Bududa, Bundibugyo, Mbale, Lira, Sironko, Arua, Wakiso, Kampala, Paidha and Mukono Districts.

In her opening remarks, Aneri thanked the participants for making it to the sessions amidst their busy schedules. She added that the main objective of the bootcamp was to strengthen their capacities to understand their businesses better, widen their scope on business management and ably compete with the ever growing business environment. The bootcamp was also an opportunity for the participants to meet each other enhancing networking between raw material suppliers and wholesalers operating in different locations.

The training sessions (Human Resource Management, Accounting & Finance, Project Management and Marketing), all at the small business level, also shed more light on important topics that usually affect the growth and performance of the SMEs across the country. It was also an opportunity for the RAN team to again engage with some of their partners including James Wire an Entrepreneur, David Nyamuyonjo a Finance and Accounting Senior Lecturer and Diana Komukama a Marketing expert working with Top Finance Bank in Kampala Uganda. The bootcamp closed with co-creation groups sharing and discussing deeper tools like the SWOT analysis and the various ways of preventing cash mismanagement like banking it immediately on mobile money. Some of the methods of tracking cash which were highlighted throughout the sessions included receipts, cashbooks and habitual book-keeping.

The two days were also brightened by presentations from suppliers of imported clean energy products including M-Kopa, Barefoot Power, Ultratec, Purifaya among others. The two day bootcamp was closed with an appreciation to the ENVenture team for having chosen RAN as a partner in implementing the ENVenture activities and particularly making this event a rich knowledge generation and sharing opportunity.  In her remarks, Dr. Dorothy Okello, RAN Director Innovation made mention of RAN’s continued intent to work with social innovators in addressing community challenges. Moving forward, she also encouraged the various teams to keep interacting with RAN staff for various expertise and support.