Despite the increasing number of tech innovation hubs in the city, many are being underutilized due to a lack of awareness and limited resources. However, the Innovation Village Mbarara is setting an example for how these facilities can be better leveraged to support the growth of startups and tech entrepreneurs in the region.
Located in Rwebikona, the Innovation Village Mbarara is a tech hub that provides co-working spaces, mentorship, and training programs to aspiring tech entrepreneurs. It is part of a network of innovation hubs across Uganda that aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the country.
However, despite its impressive facilities and services, the hub has not been fully utilized, with many entrepreneurs unaware of the services and resources available to them.
According David Muhindo, a beneficiary of the Innovation Village Mbarara, lack of awareness is a significant challenge in the region. “Many entrepreneurs in this region are unaware of the services and resources available to them. As a result, they are not taking full advantage of the facilities we offer,” he said.
To address this challenge, the Innovation Village Mbarara has been working to raise awareness among entrepreneurs and build partnerships with local universities and businesses to support the development of tech startups.
Through these efforts, the hub has already made significant strides in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. In the past year, it has supported several startups, including a mobile money platform and a health information management system.
However, more needs to be done to fully realize the potential of tech innovation hubs in Mbarara City and beyond. This includes building stronger partnerships between innovation hubs, universities, and businesses, as well as increasing funding and resources to support the growth of startups.
As David Muhindo notes, “The potential for tech innovation in this region is huge, but we need more support to fully harness it. By working together, we can build a thriving tech ecosystem that supports the growth of startups and drives economic development in the region.”
Overall, the Innovation Village Mbarara is an excellent example of how tech innovation hubs can be leveraged to support entrepreneurship and drive economic growth in underserved regions. With more support and resources, these facilities have the potential to become powerful engines of innovation and transformation in Uganda and beyond.