As we continue to observe the Women’s month, MTN Uganda is delighted to announce the unveiling of 118 exceptional women entrepreneurs who have been selected as service providers under the Advancing Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program.

Launched in October last year, this initiative underscores MTN’s commitment to empowering and uplifting women in business across Uganda.

The AWE program was designed with the aim to; grow the female MTN supplier base, build the capacity of women businesses through skills development as well as building sustainable business eco systems through mentorship and coaching programs.

Through a rigorous selection process following its expression of interest call, MTN has identified and partnered with talented women entrepreneurs from diverse sectors including I.T, network, commercial, professional, and facility-related services.

According to The MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officers, Sylvia Mulinge, the selected women have demonstrated exceptional skills, passion, and determination; showcasing the incredible potential and versatility of female-led businesses in our country.

“We are thrilled to unveil these remarkable women entrepreneurs who have not only met but exceeded our expectations,” said Mulinge. “By choosing these women entrepreneurs as service providers to MTN Uganda, we are not just investing in their businesses; we are investing in the future of Uganda. We believe that by empowering women economically, we create a ripple effect that benefits families, communities, and ultimately, our nation’s prosperity.”

As part of MTN Uganda’s commitment to gender diversity and inclusion, the company has significantly increased the representation of women suppliers.

“By enlisting these exceptional 118 women entrepreneurs as part of the MTN supplier base, I am pleased to note that we have moved the needle from 7% women suppliers in 2023 to 15% in 2024,” added Mulinge.

The event was presided over by renowned entrepreneur and founder of the Gudie Farm, Prof. Gudula Naiga Basaza, who also doubles as the Chairperson of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Limited (UWEAL) advised the women entrepreneurs to be focused, resilient, tenacious and compliant, for their businesses to thrive.

MTN Uganda extends its gratitude to all partners and mentors who have contributed to the success of the Advancing Women Entrepreneurs program, including DFCU Bank (Women in Business), PSFU, NSSF Hi Innovators, ATC, UN Women, The Innovation Village, and MTN MoMo.

MTN is committed to supporting women-owned businesses across Uganda, backed by the strong belief that Together, we’re unstoppable.

Dorothy Kabagambe Semanda- CEO ATC Uganda

ATC Uganda is committed to working alongside MTN Uganda to ensure the success of the AWE program. As ATC, we have already ring-fenced work that is to be done by women. We shall focus on training women on running successful construction companies with emphasis on practical skills that are required in the sector.

Kate K Kiiza- ED DFCU Bank

DFCU is backing the AWE programme with tailored financing; subsidized interest rates, and relaxed collateral for participants to help women thrive in today’s competitive business world. To build capacity, we’ll provide training in financial management, ESG, and gender diversity. We have set up a Women in Business (WiB) advisory council and a centre accessible to all women.

Paulina Chiwangu – UN Women Country Representative Uganda

As Women, we should work together to eliminate all forms of violence against us. We’ve to make sure that peace and security prevail above all else for our businesses to thrive.

Dr. Aisha Kasolo – Project Director (GROW) PSFU

The decision for MTN to look at women and consider them for these male dominated spheres makes Uganda proud.

Richard Zulu –Lead Founder, Outbox

Seeing big corporates ring-fence part of their budget for women entrepreneurs is very impressive. This speaks volumes of where we are headed as a nation

Richard Yego- MTN MoMo CEO

We want to see more women in the Mobile Money business. We encourage all our suppliers to digitize their financial transactions through MTN MoMo.

At a time when most of the world is facing a challenge with attracting and retaining women employees, MTN, Uganda’s largest corporate company has surpassed the 50-50 men to women ratio. Today, MTN’s workforce is made up of an impressive 51% female workforce.

With a target of hitting the 50% mark in 2025 as underpinned by the company’s Ambition 2025 strategy, the company deployed a deliberate approach that saw it close 2022 with 49% female employees and in less than a year, the company has surpassed its 2025 goal by 1%.

Besides staying on trend with its men to women work force ratio, MTN Uganda, which is considered one of the best employees in the country by the Federation of Uganda Employers, is keen on increasing women in management. Currently, MTN Uganda has 38% of women in Senior Executive Leadership positions and 36% of women in Leadership positions. Learn how MTN Uganda has turned around the odds of the men to women employment ratio from the video below.

MTN Uganda, a leading telecommunications and digital solutions provider, extends a warm invitation to women entrepreneurs across the nation to participate in the groundbreaking “MTN@25 Advancing Women Entrepreneurs” (AWE), an inspiring collaborative endeavor in partnership with MTN Mobile Money (MOMO), The American Tower Corporation (ATC), UN Women, The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), DFCU Bank, Innovation Village, NSSF Hi Innovators and Outbox. This initiative underscores MTN Uganda’s unwavering commitment to fostering a more inclusive and connected society, echoing our belief in the power of collaboration and the MTN annual theme of “Together, we are Unstoppable.”

The AWE project aspires to usher in a new era of improved business ownership, enriched diversity, and enhanced equality in the supply chain. It seeks to champion women’s participation and commendable contributions to the thriving tech industry.

At the launch, Sylvia Mulinge, MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer aptly stated, “As part of our commitment to this cause, we are determined to increase the local spend on women entrepreneurs participating in the top spend categories in the telecom industry and build an inclusive market-oriented platform that supports and attracts women entrepreneurs.”

On average, women-owned microenterprises in Uganda generate 30 percent lower profits than their male counterparts (World Bank 2019). Lower levels of innovation, lower use of capital and labor, and sector-based sex segregation are all factors associated with women entrepreneurs’ poorer business outcomes relative to men in Uganda. Moreover, women enterprise owners in Uganda also use 41 percent fewer hours of labor, have 50 percent less capital, and are 37 percent less likely to have introduced a new product over the previous 12 months compared with men.

Sylvia Mulinge, MTN CEO, also stated, “The AWE project aligns with our core values and strategic vision, which is to create opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender or background. The goal of the AWE project is ambitious yet achievable. Our vision is to have 250 women suppliers by 2025, with the aim of onboarding 50 women by the end of this year.  MTN Uganda will be investing $4 million (UGX 15,029,428,000) into this project because we recognize that women entrepreneurs possess immense potential, and by inviting them to join our supply chain, we intend to empower them, promote diversity, and fortify the technology sector in Uganda. This initiative serves as a testament to our commitment to a more inclusive and equitable future.”

The AWE project represents a cornerstone of MTN Uganda’s sustainability approach, marked by a resolute focus on gender equality, unwavering support for women in business, and the empowerment of the youth, ensuring that opportunities are accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities.

MTN Uganda is proud to collaborate with a consortium of strategic partners to drive the Advancing Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) project. MTN and MTN Mobile Money (MOMO) will oversee the EOI process, ensure women’s participation in RFPs, and offer comprehensive training and financial support. The American Tower Corporation (ATC) will provide business opportunities and assist in candidate selection, while UN Women will raise awareness and strengthen partnerships. The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), DFCU Bank, and Innovation Village will promote entrepreneurship, provide mentorship, and offer financial support. NSSF Hi Innovators will offer brand support and financing. Together, we aim to increase women’s participation in the telecom supply chain, support financial sustenance, and create a more inclusive marketplace, with a goal of onboarding 50 women by the end of the year and 250 women suppliers by 2025.

Eligibility Criteria for MTN AWE Expression of Interest (EOI):

To participate in the AWE initiative, women entrepreneurs are encouraged to meet the following criteria:

  1. Ownership: Your business must exhibit at least 50% ownership by women, either wholly or through a majority shareholding.
  2. Business Type: We wholeheartedly encourage applications from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), youth entrepreneurs aged 23-35, associations owned by women, and businesses/associations owned by women with disabilities.
  3. Annual Revenue: The applying company should demonstrate an annual revenue of a minimum of UGX 60 million.
  4. Registration: Your company must be locally registered and have been in operation for at least one year.
  5. Tax Compliance: Applicants are required to possess a valid tax compliance certificate.
  6. Active Business Operations: Your applying company should boast actively managed and women-led operations.

MTN Uganda enthusiastically welcomes Expressions of Interest (EOI) from women entrepreneurs spanning the following categories:

  1. IT Equipment and Related Services: Companies offering IT hardware, software, and related solutions.
  2. Network Services: Businesses providing network infrastructure, maintenance, and support services.
  3. Digital Services: Companies involved in digital marketing, content creation, and other digital solutions.
  4. Facility Management Services: Enterprises offering facility management and maintenance services.
  5. Commercial Products and Services: Businesses supplying various commercial products and services.

Women entrepreneurs who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to visit the following website: Once there, please accept the terms and conditions and follow the provided instructions to apply for the program before 31st October 2023.

Adekemi Ndielli, UN Women Uganda’s Deputy Country Representative, said, “Empowering women is our DNA as UN Women Uganda, and our partnership with MTN Uganda is a magic bullet to bridge the gap and contributes to SDG 5, which has targets & indicators for all the other goals. Bringing UN Women into this MTN AWE program means you will have access to these women, as there is a level of trust between them & us.”

Charles M. Mudiwa, Managing Director, DFCU Bank Uganda, stated, “DFCU has embarked on a dedicated journey to support women entrepreneurs since 2007. Our guiding principle has been the recognition that many women exert tremendous effort, yet opportunities for them to secure financing were scarce. Over the years, this commitment has yielded exponential growth. Internally, we express our sincere gratitude to MTN and all our valued partners who have played an instrumental role in making this endeavor possible.”

Alex Rumanyika, Head of Strategy at NSSF, mentioned, “The Fund, through the Hi-Innovator Programme, has joined MTN Uganda for their Advancing Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) project aimed at empowering and supporting enterprising women in starting, growing, and sustaining their businesses. This initiative aligns with the Fund’s effort to support early-stage Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) with patient capital, technical assistance, and linkages to markets and affordable financing to make them competitive and investment-ready through Hi-Innovator.”

Arthur Mukembo, Lead FutureLab Studio, said, “At Innovation Village, we foster an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs to adopt tech and tech-enabled solutions to enable them to solidify their business value proposition, validate an investable market, and move beyond early adopters to accelerate the growth of their enterprise. We seek ways to double down to leverage technology to create more opportunities for women businesses to benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.”

Stephen Asiimwe, Chief Executive Officer of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), commended Sylvia and her team for their visionary initiative. He stated, “This is not just a simple beginning; it’s the inception of a movement, a catalyst for change that is gaining momentum with every passing moment. As we take these first steps, let us all remember that revolutions are built on the passion, resilience, and commitment of individuals who dare to dream and act. Together, we can turn the tides and create a brighter future for all.”

Dorothy Kabgambe Ssemanda, Chief Executive Officer of ATC Uganda, explained, “Currently, more than 90% of our annual high spend on engineering projects is executed by suppliers which are not women-owned or operated. This is a narrative we are here to change, a shift we are dedicated to leading. We have taken a solid step in this direction by ring-fencing a proportion of contracts exclusively for AWE candidates. We acknowledge the high working capital requirements, and we are here to navigate these waters together. To ensure the success and growth of AWE candidates, ATC will offer robust technical training and field assistance, covering a broad spectrum from onboarding to customized training tailored for unique challenges. Our support does not end post-award. We will continue to provide field-based assistance, monitor progress, and award additional work based on improvements and performance.”

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About MTN Uganda

MTN Uganda is a leading telecoms company in Uganda with a primary objective of carrying on the business of a national operator of a telecommunications network pursuant to the National Telecommunications Operator (NTO) licence granted by the Uganda Telecommunications Commission (UCC). Among our offerings are network services, digital and financial technology services, interconnect and roaming, sale of mobile devices, and MTN Mobile Money (conducted through subsidiary MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited). MTN has a presence in all 134 districts of Uganda. Services are delivered through a network of over 164,000 MoMo agents, 268,0000 MoMo merchants, 200 service stores and 13 main distributors. For the period ended 31 March 2023, MTN Uganda had 17.8 million subscribers, 11 million MoMo users, and 6.7 million active data users. Visit us at or follow us on and for assistance.

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our 240 million customers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code “MTN.” We are pursuing our Ambition 2021 strategy, focusing on growth in data, fintech, and digital businesses.

For more information, please contact:

MTN Uganda Press Office:

Rhona Arinaitwe: or 0772 123 067

Prisca Baike:  or 0782 654 083

Given the high unemployment levels in the country, there is need to break the bias and promote gender diversity across professions by encouraging women to seek opportunities in male-dominated industries.  In support of SDG 5 which advocates for gender equality, MTN Uganda in collaboration with key partners is making strides in empowering women in order to achieve sustainable societies.

MTN Foundation supports Girls with Tools

Prossy Nalunkuuma is pursuing a mechanical engineering certification at Smart Girls Foundation in Wakiso. Garbed in a blue mechanic’s overall shielded by gloves in hand, Nalunkuuma, who is bent over a car’s open bonnet is cognizant of the awkward stares she attracts from the public as a result of her career choice. 

Driven by her passion and unfettered ambition to one day become a renowned mechanical engineer, Nalunkuuma continues to pursue her dream; breaking the bias against women in this male-dominated career.

“Despite girls’ persistent shunning of mechanical engineering, I chose to pursue this line of work because of the passion I have for it plus the need to be unique through penetrating a male-dominated world. My goal is to actively practice in this field through setting up an auto repair and parts shop,” she narrates.

Nalunkuuma just like other girls at the Foundation, sought an opportunity to chase her engineering ambition at Smart Girls Foundation, a non-profit making, girl-centered, development organization that empowers and mentors girls in health and education to mention but a few.  Under the Foundation’s flagship projects, girls with tools, girls are equipped with skills in traditionally male-dominated professions including carpentry, machinery, and automotive mechanics and welding.

Over the years, MTN has supported this cause through donation to the Smart Girls Foundation and more recently, construction of an additional facility that will see the Foundation increase the number of girls trained to about 400 annually. As a result of MTN’s support, already, the organization recorded an increase in the number of girls trained at the facility from 30 to close to 90 in a wide range of programs including mechanical, electrical installations and welding.

Dorcas Muhwezi, the MTN Uganda general manager customer experience, who is also an engineer said it is reassuring to see a significant number of girls showing interest in engineering and having the ability to pursue their interests.

“It is encouraging to see such programs that empower the girls and help them develop practical skills. I was very excited to hear that some girls have already set up shop. As MTN, this success is the embodiment of our vision. We are committed to facilitating a diverse society through generational equality and increase women representation for sustainable societies,” she noted.


MTN Supports Women in sports

In the same spirit, MTN last weekend rewarded a group of outstanding women in sports who have played a pivotal role in bridging the gender gap in the world of sport. 

The awards which summed up the telecom’s month long celebration of women following the International Women’s day in March, saw the public nominate and vote for their phenomenal sportswomen of choice in a bid to narrow the gender gap in the sports profession through recognizing and celebrating women in sports.

The top 5 women in accordance with the public votes, each received Ugx.3,000,000 shillings while the other 15 who made it to the top 20 were rewarded with Ugx.500,000 shillings each.

“As MTN we deliberately set out to use the women’s month to shine a light on the greatness of the women in sports. We believe that if we work together in recognizing and celebrating the women who have in no small way upheld our country’s flag far and wide, we shall erase the gap between genders in the sports profession,” Muhwezi said.

Rehema Nanyonga, the Manager of the Suncity United Netball team, a community-based team leveraging Netball to empower underprivileged girls hailing from slum areas in and around Kampala, thanked MTN for the recognition award as well as the sponsorship package to facilitate the team’s travel for the U.S Open Junior championships in Atlanta, Georgia.

“As the Suncity United community, we are humbled to be recognized and supported in our endeavors by the biggest company in the country. This gesture from MTN has motivated us to continue pursuing our goals to continue inspiring more girls in our community through sports,” Nanyonga said.

During the awards ceremony, Suncity Netball team walked away with a community service award and a sponsorship package worth Ugx.30,000,000 shillings in recognition of its efforts towards empowering young girls through sports.


 MTN Uganda rewarded a group of outstanding women in sports, including a community Netball team, following a campaign that was launched last month, in celebration of the women who have broken societal norms by shining in the male-dominated world of sports.

In a ceremony held yesterday at the Serena Hotel in Kampala, a total of 20 outstanding women and members of the Suncity United community Netball team were awarded cash prizes and a sponsorship package respectively, in appreciation of their efforts toward the country’s sports scene.

Suncity United is a community-based netball team leveraging Netball to empower underprivileged girls hailing from slum areas in and around Kampala. The team received a community service award accompanied by a Ugx.30,000,000 shillings sponsorship package in recognition of its efforts. The money will go towards facilitating the team’s travel to the United States where the team has been invited to compete in the U.S Open Junior Netball Championships in Atlanta, Georgia, later this month.

The top 5 winners namely; Jane Asinde, Janet Mbabazi, Frankline Najjumba, Peruth Chemutai, and Halima Nakaayi were each rewarded with Ugx.3,000,000 shillings. The rest of the 15 ladies who made it to the top 20 received Ugx.500,000 shillings each. Details of the winners are here.

Speaking at the rewarding ceremony, Somdev Sen, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing officer said that the effort to pay respect to the women in sports is hinged on MTN’s deliberate efforts to erase the gap between genders in the world of sport by recognizing and celebrating the women who have upheld the country’s flag as far as sports is concerned.

“Like in many other professions, women in sports still do not receive the same recognition and appreciation as their male counterparts. As MTN we deliberately set out to use the women’s month to shine a light on the greatness of the women in sports. We believe that if we work together in recognizing and celebrating the women who have in no small way upheld our country’s flag far and wide, we shall erase the gap between genders in the sports profession,” Somdev said.

Rehema Nanyonga, the Manager of the Suncity United Netball team thanked MTN for the recognition award as well as the sponsorship package to facilitate the team’s travel for the U.S Open Junior championships in Atlanta, Georgia.

“As the Suncity United community, we are humbled to be recognized and supported in our endeavors by the biggest company in the country. This gesture from MTN has motivated us to continue pursuing our goals to continue inspiring more girls in our community through sports,” Nanyonga said.

Penina Kabenge, the Vice President of the International University Sports Federation thanked MTN for always reaching out to the sports fraternity as well as looking out for and celebrating the women in sports.

Following the International Women’s Day celebrations last month, MTN ran a digital campaign across its online platforms asking the public to nominate outstanding women from different sports disciplines including Athletics, Basketball, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Javelin, Kabaddi, Netball, Rugby, Shooting, Volleyball and Woodball among others, through the MTN Sports website (

Between 15th March 2022 to 4th April 2022, 100 nominations were received, backed by insightful profiles of the nominated women. Subsequently, the public cast their votes for their favorite sportswomen who were rewarded by MTN Uganda.

Since it started its operations in Uganda over 20 years ago, MTN’s proactive role in sports has positioned the brand as the biggest supporter of local sports through its sponsorships, partnerships and active engagements with the various sports disciplines including football and athletics among others.