The past few years have seen a steady rise in the number of ESOs (accelerators, incubators, tech hubs, and seed funds) in sub-Saharan Africa. These organizations are often the first line of support for local entrepreneurs, solving real-world problems, sitting in investor blind spots. Unfortunately, these critical organizations – and the people who run them – are often under-resourced.
According to a new a report by Village Capital, with the support of Argidius Foundation,, systemic structures make accessing financial, social, human, and technical capital extremely difficult for ESOs. As a result, this resource gap stifles their ability to make the internal investments they need to develop their products and services, teams, and infrastructure required to truly support local entrepreneurs.
The report titled What Ugandan ESOs Can Teach The World answers the question “What’s working in entrepreneur support?” drawing insights straight from the experiences of people who are working with entrepreneurs in Uganda, every day.
The report is a culmination of Village Capital’s extensive work supporting Uganda entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) through the Uganda Ecosystem Builders program, which was established in 2020 to improve the strategy, sustainability, and impact of locally-led ESOs. Through this program, Village Capital worked closely with more than two dozen ESO leaders to better understand their needs.
Download the report here to learn more about what’s working in Uganda, and to access a practical set of exercises and case studies developed in close collaboration with ESO leaders who have tried and tested building out their organizations’ financial, impact, and operational viability.