KAMPALA, September 21, 2023 – The Uhuru Institute for Social Development [TUI], a social business enterprise, in partnership with other stakeholders, has launched the Coop360 Network Innovations Awards 2023 in which deserving cooperatives in the country will win various prizes at the grand finale in Kampala come March 30, 2024.
The official launch of the awards took place on Monday at Kabira Country Club in Kampala, attracting government officials, company executives, NGO representatives, media, and top representatives of various cooperatives in the country.
The annual competition is meant to reward innovation and competitiveness as drivers of cooperative-powered sustainable development; and enable and grow business-to-business linkages amongst the cooperatives, TUI, partners, and the business community.
The competition is also meant to cultivate and nudge the appreciation and application of the cooperative identity in all cooperative initiatives. The innovation awards will run under the theme, “Cultivate, Invent, Impact”, which promises a plethora of opportunities for participating cooperatives and their members.
TUI’s Operations Director, Jane Okello Amuge intimated that the awards are meant to help the cooperative rediscover their different potential, grow their members and develop long-term plans for identity and competitiveness.
“We want to see how cooperatives have come up with improved social support programmes, health care programmes, literacy programmes, and other things like housing and the innovations around that,” she said.
Amuge added that cooperatives need to work towards improved quality of life of their members which would in turn enable a strong identity for them.
The competition will have different cooperatives from across the country participating under several categories such as: Cooperative Member Development for Improved Quality of Life; Climate Smart Cooperative Business Models for Development; Leveraging Science and Technology for Business Efficiency and Competitiveness; and Marketing Communications.
Competitors will win up to Shs 20 million, ICT equipment, and receive mentorship and coaching from TUI, and a chance to visit Uganda’s best tourism sites.
To participate in the competition, cooperatives will present: A valid registration certificate from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives [MTIC]; evidence of holding the annual general meeting for the last financial year; existence of a fully functional board.
Also required is that the participating cooperatives must have supervisory, and vetting committees; institutional capital size of a minimum of Shs 10mln; evidence of making at least Shs 20mln in annual turnover in the previous year; and the commitment by the board and management to fully participate in the campaign.
Small cooperatives [with Shs 20-100mln turnover per annum], medium cooperatives [with Shs 100-360mln turnover per annum] and large cooperatives [with Shs 361mln and above turnover per annum] are free to participate in the competition as long as they meet the above criteria.
The call for applications runs from September 25 to November 24, 2023 as regional selection events are planned for Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara, and Kampala.
Speaking at the launch event, the Chief Executive Officer of TUI, Leonard Okello challenged the cooperatives in the country to always work towards changing the lives of their members, creating social impact and building their identity.
He said it is through this that the population appreciates the existence of cooperatives, adding that cooperatives should strengthen themselves and contribute to the national economy.
“It is our responsibility as cooperatives to work towards improving the lives of our members, it is by this that we would create long-lasting cooperative identity, improve lives and create social impacts in our communities,” he said.
The innovations awards launch event drew several corporate entities from the agribusiness sector, information technology, and finance sectors. These entities have been supporting cooperatives to grow.
The awards would run annually based on a series of themes as TUI works with its partners. This year, TUI’s partners for the awards include Liberty, NTV Uganda, the Bank of Uganda [BoU], Goldstone Consulting, and others.
Speaking at the launch, the Assistant Director in charge of Microfinance at BoU, Martin Magezi revealed that the central bank awaits the final verdict from the court before starting off the process to regulate big SACCOs in the country.
Magezi told the meeting that the bank had already put in place structures to work support the SACCO regulation function.
“The bank was ready to start off regulation, as a responsibility to help the sector manager resources better, before they went to court. We shall wait for the court verdict and see how to proceed,” he said.
The Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union [UCSCU] recently dragged BoU to court following a letter from the central bank indicating that it was ready to start regulating the big SACCOs in the country.
Magezi said despite the existence of a court case, negotiations between key partners in the SACCO sector are on-going. He mentioned Uganda Cooperative Alliance [UCA], UCSCU, the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, and MTIC as some of the stakeholders engaged in the negotiations.
Where to pick up the guideline forms for Coop360 Innovation Awards
Online at www.uhuruinstitute.org/innovations-award. Register and Submit your application to participate in the Innovation Awards.
How to Submit
Email to: email@example.com
Deadline for Submission: 24th November 2023
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