The Youth MP (northern Uganda) Boniface Okot, has announced that soon, he will move a motion to introduce a private member’s bill to support startups on the floor of parliament.
He made the announcement during a meeting organized by Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Start-up Uganda, and the Innovation Village last week.
Okot said the bill will be one of the progressive legislative interventions and incentives for young people to actively participate in matters of socio-economic transformation.
“We have seen countries like Nigeria whose start-up ecosystem have leading entrepreneurship hubs in the continent thanks to a conducive start-up regulatory environment,” he said.
He said Uganda’s entrepreneurial ecosystem consists of young people whose businesses have failed due to lack of capital, stiff competition amidst declining demand, high cost of inputs, Covid-19 disruptions, and heavy taxation.
“The private member’s bill on startups to be drafted will cater for regulation, tax incentives and relief financing that is required to foster business resilience, increase economic activities and provide for innovative interventions that will promote sustainable growth of start-ups,” Okot said.
Zackey Kalega, the commissioner for the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives said they will come up with a Regulatory Impact Assessment report that will provide strategic direction to interventions to unlock the existing social, economic, and regulatory bottlenecks hindering the business sector.
“The RIA report will provide evidence-based guidance on the right course of action to pursue the private members bills. Beyond designing interventions, we ensure the implementation of these interventions especially in ensuring that the ecosystem is conducive,” Kalega said.
He added that the National Development Plan III aims to strengthen the private sector to create the much-needed employment opportunities for the population and drive social economic transformation.”
Hellen Mukasa, the lead at LegalTech Lab at Innovation Village said the startup Act will be very instrumental in defining what a start-up is, provide the creation and management of a national start-up database, provide comprehensive incentives for startups, convene the disintegrated startup ecosystem player, and regulate venture capitalists and investor interactions with startups.
“If enacted, the Startup Act will foster the growth of innovation, attract increased venture capital investment, better global innovation index score, create employment opportunities for the youth and social economic benefits from innovative products and services,” she said.