Gerald OtimCEO, Ensibuuko
Otim Gerald was previously developing entrepreneurship curriculum under his former organisation, where he worked as a Senior Program Coordinator. He was already impacting 240 schools within Uganda, that were using his organisation’s material. However, his background as a farmer had exposed him to many of the challenges in accessing agricultural financing. He believed there was an opportunity to change that, through entrepreneurship.
Otim Gerald and his co-founder joined Outbox in 2013, with the desire to pursue their vision of providing low-cost alternative financing to farmers in Uganda. The team was enrolled into the ICT4Ag Regional hackathon implemented by CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation). Ensibuuko emerged overall winners of the hackathon, where they received six months incubation support from Outbox and a seed funding grant from CTA.
The founders spent the next six months validating their problem with customers, and iterating on their business models. Ensibuuko discovered that the challenge of poor record keeping among farmers affects their access to agricultural financing. It is against this backdrop that the team focused on developed a software to enable farmer groups keep track of their finances, to promote better transparency and improve access to financing for their members. This is how their core product, Mobis was born.
Outbox introduced Ensibuuko to Mercy Corps, as a partner that could support the team with access to its network of farmers, and potentially in piloting their tools. This led to Mercy Corps investing into Ensibuuko to enable it further carry out market validation and grow the product. Fast forward to date, Ensibuuko raised $500,000 as seed investment, is now in three countries and employs up-to fifteen individuals. Ensibuuko now supports more than eighty (80) savings cooperatives and 15,000+ farmers.