Accelerator Initiative for Women-Led FP/SRHR Startups in Uganda
All about POWER
POWER (Providing Opportunities for Women in Entrepreneurship and Reproductive Health) is a startup accelerator partnership initiative that is funded by DSW and led by our partner, Action for Health Uganda. This nine-month pilot provides training, capacity development, and mentoring for twelve women entrepreneurs (18-30) towards the development of sustainable businesses in the fields of family planning and sexual reproductive health and rights (FP/SRHR).
The pilot utilizes DSW’s training center, with training provided by a local organization experienced in female entrepreneurship development. To further support the entrepreneurs, the pilot will develop a mentorship program and an alumni network. This will ensure that successful graduates have access to ongoing information and services to help expand their businesses.
The pilot will conclude in February 2023, with a Demo Day that will showcase these startup ideas to a wide audience of influencers, media representatives, members of the government, potential investors, and business leaders.
- Timeframe: June 2022 – February 2023
- Partners: Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) and Action for Health Uganda (A4HU),
- Training: Capital Solutions Limited.
Publication Link: POWER-Pilot_Accelerator-UG_OHalloran_2022.pdf
- Name: Joan Patience (25)
- Startup: Simply FP App
- Profile: An on-demand app that provides accurate information about FP products, contraceptives, and services. It aims to dispel misinformation about FP and counteract harmful cultural beliefs.
- How: Using GPS coordinates, the APP enables users to ask questions about FP and receives real-time answers from all health facilities that provide FP information and services.
- Aim: Her long-term commitment is to change the way sexual and reproductive health is managed in Uganda.
- Name: Sumayyah Nakimuli Sengendo (27)
- Startup: Totler
- Profile: Totler is a social enterprise focused on creating social impact for its clients (mothers and babies) and the community at large.
- How: Totler’s unique selling point is the provision of SRHR/FP education under the ‘Totler Mother’s Campaign’. Through educational activities and awareness (such as SMS text messages), Sumayyah and her team prepare Totler clients for childbirth and the postpartum period with SRHR information.
- Aim: To develop and help replicate a community-based approach to healthcare by building a network of Totler Mothers across Uganda!
- Name: Natukunda Sharon (27)
- Startup: Green Homeland Initiative (GHI)
- Profile: GHI supports economically disadvantaged people in rural communities in Uganda to access clean and affordable solar energy.
- How: To empower young women and girls through urban agricultural practices, while at the same time, integrating SRHR, FP and HIV & AIDS dialogues into agricultural outreach.
- Aim: To involve all women and girls in environmentally friendly enterprises in Uganda to improve their lives economically and protect their reproductive health.
- Name: Rebecca Florence Nanono (24)
- Startup: Shetechtive Uganda
- Profile: Focuses on girls and young women by selling study tablets and laptops via instalments.
- How: Having a solid IT background, Rebecca and her team want to expand their knowledge via this startup to promote gender and digital equality.
- Aim: In addition to laptops, they will develop digital tools for FP information and access to contraceptives. This will take the form, for example, of a ‘chat bot’ with SRHR audio information in all local languages.
- Name: Evelyn Logose (26)
- Startup: Safe Delivery Kits
- Profile: Safe Delivery Kits is a startup that will enhance the sexual reproductive environment through improving accessibility to standard, affordable, eco-friendly and high-quality delivery kits among adolescents and young women in order the curb local high mortality rates.
- How: The company will employ an integrated approach that improves accessibility to affordable, eco-friendly, and high-quality FP supplies for safe deliveries, as well as providing family planning education via clinics, community outreaches, and digital platforms.
- Aim: To become the leading startup in supplying family planning information, services, and FP supplies in Uganda.
- Name: Mary Yaar (23)
- Startup: Founder of Marie Medicinal Haven (MMH)
- Profile: MMH produces affordable and quality menstrual products for women and girls in Gulu District, Uganda.
- How: Marie Medicinal Haven is a social entrepreneurship that provides economic empowerment to refugees through recruiting, practical skills training, mentorship, and employment. Although started as an eco-friendly soap production company, MMH will be expanding to include quality menstrual products based on natural materials.
- Aim: In addition to the production and distribution of quality and affordable menstrual products for women and girls within Gulu District, the startup also aims to create awareness in the schools and surrounding communities through outreaches and dialogues.
- Name: Vickie Sharon Tumwebaze
- Startup: Queen Hair Saloon (QHS)
- Profile: Queen Hair Saloon is a hair maintenance and training initiative for young women in saloon management.
- How: QHS is not your regular hair salon. QHS was created as a safe space for women to open up and share their sexual and reproductive health challenges, which are often broad in nature, from how to communicate with their partners about good sexual practices to their struggles to access youth-friendly and affordable SRH services. As well as peer-friendly FP/SRHR advice, the startup also provide courses in salon management.
- Aim: To reach more women with SRHR/FP information and services, QHS will be scaled-up to provide menstrual hygiene management and the provision of affordable menstrual products. QHS will be a solid platform to empower young women, provide easy access to affordable menstrual products, and to get accurate (women-led) knowledge.
- Name: Babirye Angel (22)
- Startup: Us for Girls Foundation
- Profile: The Foundation was started in 2021 by a team of four women, including Babirye Angel, to address SRHR challenges adolescent girls face in their local districts.
- How: Though female founded, the Foundation includes both females and males who share the same passion for seeing girls grow within a healthy and safe environment. Via this accelerator, the founders want to shape and grow their direction towards reaching out to even more girls in Uganda and provide them with better knowledge and practices on menstrual hygiene.
- Aim: To help adolescent girls and young women understand their SRHR needs, while addressing their challenges.
- Name: Edith Atim Labeja (24)
- Startup: Edith Foundation
- Profile: To produce reusable pads of different sizes to fit all women body shapes and to sell these at reasonable prices.
- How: Edith’s startup aims to make and sell re-usable pads at affordable prices and in various sizes. Her company will also promote accurate information on SRHR and menstrual hygiene management, in addition to antenatal care and delivery services to people living in remote communities.
- Aim: A future of gender equality and proper menstrual hygiene management among women and girls across Uganda.
- Name: Fatuma Imanet (22)
- Startup: Lady Mariam Educational Centre
- Profile: To create in-school spaces to teach FP/SRHR, income generating activities (IGAs), and advocacy for young mothers
- How: As a former youth champion in Mityana District, Fatuma will use her experience to develop an educational hub that incorporates FP/SRHR, IGAs, and advocacy classes for young mothers that come to pick-up and drop-off their children from schools. The hub will not only be used as a source of information and referral for young mothers, but as a safe spot for them to share their issues and gain solutions.
- Aim: To promote understanding, SRHR knowledge, independence, and power for young women and girls in Mityana District.
- Name: Maureen Kamara (25)
- Startup: Nisha Beauty Palace
- Profile: Nisha Beauty Palace is committed to being a leader in the beauty industry by providing affordable beauty products and professional services. Health is wealth at Nisha, so sexual and reproductive education is emphasized in all its operations. This is done through condom distribution and refilling condom dispensers around Kampala. Referrals are also done for youth to access youth-friendly services.
- Aim: To scale towards improving young people’s health, economic status and livelihood across Uganda.
- Name: Winnie Nabukeera (26)
- Startup: Little Winnie Foundation
- Profile: Little Winnie Foundation aims at creating awareness about HIV & AIDS via community sensitization, testing people for HIV, and health awareness.
- How: With her team, Winnie has visited many schools under their school model program and sensitized children about HIV at all levels. Via the POWER pilot, they have begun a campaign for a Nurses & Midwives mentorship and coaching program. The Foundation aims at helping nurses and midwives find their purpose, passion – and to turn it into profit!
- Aim: To continue to fight the stigma attached to HIV & AIDS, to spread testing and awareness, while at the same time helping nurses become more efficient and effective in terms of service delivery and customer care. The startup will empower nurses to find a work-life balance, prioritize their health needs, and also get entrepreneurship skills.
Following on from the incredible success of this Accelerator pilot, we are keen to expand this concept further. Phase two of the project (2023-24) will be the development of a permanent Incubation Hub in Uganda focused on developing FP/SRHR startups from the idea/prototype stage to launch and business scale-up. Based on the lessons learnt from the initiative and individual feedback from the current entrepreneurs, we are planning to support a 12-month program focused on startup training and capacity development, including mentoring and angel investment. There is also incredible potential for this to be replicated in other East African countries too! Conversations with our colleagues there will kick-off once the pilot has been completed in Uganda.
If any of this sounds interesting to you and is something that your organisation would like to get involved with – please do reach out to us! We are always on the lookout for new partners to join with.
Contact and Follow
Have any questions? For more information about this pilot and its potential, reach out to Shane at:
Shane O‘Halloran, Head of DSW’s Digital Transformation and Business Development Unit.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +49 (0)30 240006917
Or follow us to keep up with all the latest developments:
- Instagram: @power_uganda
- LinkedIn (A4HU page): linkedin.com/company/action-4-health-uganda/