Support to Agricultural Revitalization and Transformation (START) Funding Facility for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Uganda
UNCDF in partnership with the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and the Government of Uganda under the Office of the Prime Minister is implementing a four-year Programme referred to as the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU). The general objective of the Programme is to consolidate stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. The programme will benefit 40 districts in Northern Uganda with a total population of over 7 million people. With respect to this call for proposals, UNCDF is focusing on improving access to affordable medium term finance for SMEs engaged in agricultural value addition/agro-processing through a dedicated facility for business development services and blended finance.
The START funding facility is designed to support the implementation of DINU food security and nutrition component. The Facility is intended to offer access to affordable medium-term finance for agricultural value adding projects in Northern Uganda through provision of seed capital to SMEs.
START Facility is structured as a blended finance facility providing a customized mix of Business Development Services, Project Development Services and Financial Services. The three lines of business are managed by the three participating institutions namely: Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL) respectively. The financial products available under the START facility include; Concessional Loans (annual interest at 10%), reimbursable grants (limited to shortlisted SMEs impacted by COVID-19 pandemic), Technical Assistance Grants and Project-based Partial Credit Guarantees.
Through CfP3, START Facility is inviting proposals for commercially viable investment projects focused on agro-processing / value addition including, not limited to. processing plants, post-harvest handling technologies, effective storage systems, digital technologies to handling agro-processing, storage and any other agricultural value addition projects.
Priority will be given to enterprises engaged in apiary, cassava, coffee, groundnuts, livestock, rice, sesame, sorghum, soybean and vegetables value chain projects that contribute to economic empowerment of women and youth, contribute to development of refugee hosting areas and leverage the refugee potential for local development as well as to projects that aim at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Other agricultural value chains may also be considered.
Language of proposal: Proposals must be submitted in English via the online portal www.start.go.ug
Deadline for submission: The deadline for submission is 15th March 2021 12:00 midnight GMT+3 (Nairobi)