FSD Uganda pilots platform economy masterclass

Simply put, the platform economy is economic and social activity facilitated by platforms. A platform business is a multi-sided model focused on creating value by facilitating interactions between two or more interdependent groups usually, consumers and producers. The common forms of interactions between the groups include selling, buying, and sharing of goods and services. Common examples of platforms include Facebook, Amazon, Airbnb, SafeBoda and Uber.

In early March 2023, FSD Uganda run the first platform economy masterclass. Attended by the first cohort, the recently developed curriculum was piloted during the five-day class.

The inaugural masterclass was attended by 24 participants in the platform economy drawn from ecosystem enablers such as, AgriTechs, HealthTech, Fintechs, and others.

The masterclass seeks to support technology platform entrepreneurs to enhance their business models, diversify their income streams, and revamp their value propositions. Additionally, it seeks to see the businesses expand their customer base and collaborate or partner with other ecosystem players (both locally and globally) and deepen financial inclusion, thus improving the ecosystem they serve.

More cohorts of the platform economy masterclass will be conducted to obtain industry and participant feedback to enable the refinement of the curriculum.

Ultimately, FSD Uganda intends to enable the ecosystem to run the masterclass as a regular program for capacity building of platform economy participants and ecosystem enablers. The target participants include fintechs, agritechs, MSMEs, financial services providers, consumers, development partners, etc. This is expected to spur the growth of Uganda’s nascent platform economy.

This is what some of the participants from the first cohort say about the masterclass.

“During the class, we got insights into case studies which showed us what has worked before in other countries. For us in the agriculture industry, we have learnt about how the likes of Twiga Foods in Kenya are operating and that provided valuable information on how to scale” says, Annet Nanyanzi, Co-founder, Green Shares Limited.

“I have understood better what digital and platform economy is and how to make money in the different business models as well as the risks involved. The case studies were very helpful in aiding my understanding. The most important thing is how we are going to apply what we learnt to help us scale faster – we know that we must move away from just providing the products to facilitating the transaction on the platform so that we reach more users within a short time,” Zilla Arach Mary, Chief Products, and Innovation Officer, EzyAgric said.

“The masterclass provided useful tips and insights and different business models that we can apply to grow our customer base. The different case studies for example the talk by SafeBoda enlightened us on how best we can improve our services, our infrastructure, and reduce costs. Because of the class, we will be able to redefine our products and provide better service to our customers,” says Michael Francis Kalyango, the Chief Technical Officer at Quest Digital Finance.

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