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In October 2016, BSpace joined a consortium of  development and business catalyst organisations including:  SNV Uganda, Agri ProFocus Uganda and NUTIP(Netherlands Uganda Trade and Investment Platform) to champion the PAINT initiative. 

Promoting Agribusiness Investment, Networking and Trade (PAINT) is an initiative aimed at accelerating growth and sustainability of the agribusiness sector.  The initiative  aims at catalyzing capacity development of agribusinesses to be commercially viable and visible through tailored training and coaching, strong and longer term investment and financing partnerships. PAINT also looks at linking the players to opportunities that lead to access to  stable markets, knowledge and networking.

In 2016 PAINT organised a series of activities which  climaxed with a two day  physical networking event themed
Trade and Investment Matchmaking Event(TIME). The TIME event facilitated linkages between investment/trade partners, agribusinesses and partners. The PAINT initiative plans to hold similar events annually for the next three years. To download the TIME 2016 magazine, click here .Below we bring you two first hand accounts from Bakuseka John,  the Managing Director of Crested Superior Commodities Ltd  and Esther the Manager at Interfruit dealers who were both beneficiaries and  participants of the  TIME 2016 event here.

Crested Superior Commodities Ltd-Investors are looking for impact businesses

Crested Superior Commodities was registered in 2010 as a milk processing company. Since Uganda produces plenty of milk, Crested Superior Commodities produces cheese from the surplus supply of about 1000 litres per day. From this milk they are currently producing both cheddar and mozarella cheese. Crested Superior Commodities employs 13 people, sometimes hiring another 3 to 4 casual staff in the rainy season when cows produce more milk. The company is currently supplied by around 30 to 65 farmers depending on the season; when cows produce more milk, less suppliers are contracted.

Bakuseka John-MD Crested Superior Commodities Limited

Bakuseka John-MD Crested Superior Commodities Limited during the TIME event that was held at the Sheraton Hotel Kampala.

Crested Superior Commodities is an ambitious agribusiness who would like to invest in machinery to start producing other types of cheese varieties that are currently being imported.  Uganda has the milk to start producing these varieties of cheese.And that is why Crested Superior Commodities subscribed to the PAINT program; to meet potential investors who see the potential growth that Crested Superior Commodities has to offer them.

 On the TIME event, Mr. Bakuseka has this to say:

“It was  the first time i participated in an event like this. Previously we had attended a growth accelerator programme,but we had never attended something where we had to talk and pitch to the actual investors. It was very exciting and new for us. As a result of the mentoring we received a week before the event, I  learned how to pitch. Overall i also got access to networks and got to know what the investors are looking for. I learned that there is a lot of money, but it has to be an impact business, not just personal profit making. I am glad to say that that is precisely our business model. So we don’t have to change anything. We just have to tell our story, show that we are passionate and that there is a lot of return on investment for potential investors, which will make our dreams to become reality.”  I  talked to some people,some social investors from whom I hope to get a good deal.”

Crested Superior commodities is now in discussion with Iungo capital, Bidnetwork, FACTS Uganda and Pearl Capital negotiating a deal of upto USD27,000.

Interfruit Dealers-I took away so many great ideas

Florence-Manager Interfruit dealers

Florence-Manager Interfruit dealers

Meet Florence. Florence is a young and ambitious Manager at Interfruit dealers ltd. Interfruit dealers are producers of fresh fruits, which are exported to the EU and now also to the United Arab Emirates. “We are very exited about this new market as they demand high volumes and have less strict quality standards. Making it a very interesting market for us”, says Florence. Currently Interfruit exports 7 tons of produce, twice a week. The company currently employs around 35 local staff, including technical and casual staff who are doing the grading and sorting. Intercrop has its own farms, but also contracts a small group of small holder farmers to keep up with the wide array of produce in demand. In total they produce 11 commodities, including chillies and hot peppers. They have also just signed an agreement with Mityana cooperative society who have about 1500 members to help sustain the Intercrop production.

Florence was very excited about the TIME event, “Something like this is exactly what we needed. A place where we were able to learn more about how to market ourselves and what potential investors want.During that period, Interfruit was looking for an investment from someone who saw  our potential. “ We were looking for around UGX 900 million to build greenhouses and also to get a global GAP certificate, because there is a new market that has been waiting for a very long time, they want big volumes, but also have high standards and we cannot start producing for that market, when we do not have 50% of the production in our control.  That is the reason that we want to start greenhouse production, allowing us to produce commodities while not being 100% depended on the weather. When you have global GaP certificate, you get a better price.”

Florence attended the two day mentoring and coaching session in preparation for the TIME event where she  learnt how to pitch to potential investors .”We went to through a lot, we learned a lot, coaching, a lot of sharing, knowledge acquisition. We were taught more about accounting, how you present yourself, how you present your business, how you do the networking; some facts and figures; very to the point. These tools we were given made it very easy for me during the networking session at the event. ”, Florence says.

 Florence is enthusiastically looking to the future. While at the TIME event ,she met with several potential investors and agribusinesses that  were looking for companies such as hers to  supply them.“I took  away so much from this networking event. It was a good opportunity for us to see how others do things. When you study the key players in our  business, you realize that  they have taken steps to get there. So we just have to do our best so as to  catch up with them. It is very important to be part of a platform like this, because they promote you, they help you acquire skills and knowledge. It was an  interesting opportunity and I would like to advise everybody to join the upcoming TIME events. The money we paid to join was worth every penny, I would have still paid had they asked for more.”

Inferfruit dealers is currently in discussions with Pearl capital to negotiate a  deal of up to USD250,000.

For more information on the upcoming PAINT/TIME events, please call us on +256775199704/+256758491181 or email us @ info@bspace.co.ug