Tag: events

The 2nd Venture Podium at UNAA Chicago 2019

The Ugandan North American Association invites you to the second VENTURE PODIUM which will be held during the Trade and Investments Forum at its 31st UNAA Convention in Chicago, IL on Friday August 30, 2019.


At what was then called the “Business and Entrepreneurship Workshop” held during the 2004 UNAA Convention in Seattle, attendees were challenged to form an investment group.  This challenge raised $80,000.00 with which the group bought a building in Kampala from which they very happily derive rental income to this day.

In response to a presentation on IT opportunities at the 2009 UNAA convention in Chicago, a Los Angeles based engineering firm entered into an agreement with a local Ugandan company for the provision of technical support services.  Today this Ugandan company provides about $250,000 worth of technical support services annually to several clients in the US.

In response to a presentation by the Chancellor of Gulu University at the 2011 UNAA Convention, an attendee from Canada built 2 student hostels units near the campus and is enjoying very profitable returns.

These are just some of the more visible outcomes of past workshops at UNAA conventions.

The venture podium is a period of time that has been set aside in the afternoon session of the Trade and Investments Forum where aspiring entrepreneurs in our community will be given an opportunity to stand in front of and pitch their business ideas to the entire gathering.  Presenters may pitch their ideas in search of investors, partners or merely to solicit feedback on a potential project or venture already underway.

But it is important to put this venture podium feature in perspective.  The business outcomes highlighted above were the result of individuals taking the independent initiative to act in response to information presented in the forums.  The Chancellor of Gulu University came to the convention and made a presentation on a specific business opportunity.  An attendee was attracted by the opportunity and acted upon it.

It is important to note that this will not be a contest with a pot of money on the line for the winners.  This will be a time set aside for people to present their ideas or projects to a gathering of people from a wide spectrum of backgrounds including government officials (from both Uganda and North America), existing business owners, other entrepreneurs, academicians, and others.  Any of these could become investors, partners or active advisors in any of the projects presented and presenters will have an opportunity to further network during a reception to be held after the forum and throughout the rest of the convention.

So anyone who would like to make a presentation in this session should send an email with a summary of their project to venturepodium@unaaonline.org.  Projects can be in Uganda or anywhere in North America.  Presenters can also come from Uganda or North America.

So join us in Chicago this coming Labor Day weekend for the 2nd Venture Podium that will be held during the 11th Annual Trade and Investments Forum at the 2019 UNAA Convention.

Business Opportunities at UNAA Chicago 2019

Hello. I’d like to share with you the exciting business opportunities that UNAA Chicago 2019 has to offer – especially to SMEs.

1. Stand out at the Discover Uganda Exhibition

This year’s vendor exhibition has been given a new name because it is getting a major marketing push. UNAA has invited non-Ugandan residents of Chicago and nearby cities to come to this exhibition via Eventbrite and local media. This is a great opportunity for tours and travel companies, startups that are looking for funding, businesses that aid trade with Africa such as banks and money transfer services, and others that are looking for partnerships. With a major focus on presentation and branding, we plan to make sure that your businesses stand out.

Some of the confirmed participating companies in this year’s event include PostBank Uganda, Housing Finance Uganda, Kafeero Foundation, Equity Bank Uganda, DOXA Connections, Uganda Tourism Board, Fakhruddin Properties, as well as numerous diaspora-based businesses that will be highlighted in a separate post.

Take advantage of this great opportunity by registering your business as a vendor on this page: https://www.unaaonline.org/event/2019-unaa-convention-chicago/. Look for “Vendor Registration”

2. Advertise in the 2019 Convention Program Book

Advertising in the convention program book is a great opportunity to put your business in the palms of every convention delegate. Also, for the first time ever, this year’s convention program book will be made available in digital format. Here are the rates for advertising in the 2019 UNAA Convention Program Book.

Full Page: $1,000 USD
1/2 Page: $600 USD
1/4 Page: $350 USD
1/8 Page: $200 USD

To learn more about getting your ad in the 2019 program book, contact us here: https://www.unaaonline.org/contact-us/

3. Participate and Network at the 2019 Uganda-North America Trade and Investment Forum

The Trade and Investment Forum is a great opportunity to meet fellow professionals and business people, meet business leaders that can help you take your business game to the next level, learn about new trade and investment opportunities and meet potential investors and business partners. This full-day event features panels on trade and investment, speeches from motivational speakers and business leaders, and a networking lunch.

It is free to attend for registered convention delegates, and costs $50 to attend if you are not registered. You can visit this link to register: https://www.unaaonline.org/event/2019-unaa-convention-chicago/.

4. Pitch your startup at the T & I Forum’s Venture Podium

The last part of the Trade and Investment Forum features a venture podium – the UNAA Convention’s own Shark Tank. Introduced by former president Moses Wilson, the venture podium allows startups and SMEs to pitch their ideas or businesses to potential investors in order to generate funding for growth. This is a great time to seek investment from Ugandans living in the diaspora – the US economy is on the rise and Uganda is shaping up to be a major entrepreneurship hub given its young and innovative population.

Learn more about presenting at the Venture Podium by clicking this link: https://www.unaaonline.org/submit-proposals-for-2019-venture-podium/

5. Sign up for Professionals Connect

Our professionals and entrepreneurs network (UNAA Professionals Connect) has been steadily growing. We plan to have our first social event at the 2019 UNAA Convention. Meet like-minded people and make great connections over cocktails. This is a networking opportunity that will keep on giving as it grows. Sign up for Professionals Connect by clicking this link: https://www.unaaonline.org/about-unaa/unaa-programs/unaa-professionals-connect/

6. Various Event Sponsorship Opportunities

The UNAA Convention has various sponsorship opportunities and our team is glad to point you to the right opportunity for your business. Sponsorship opportunities help you stand out by giving you a unique platform from the various events that happen at the convention.

Here are some sponsorship opportunities:

Blanket UNAA Convention Sponsorship
Miss Uganda North America
Trade and Investment Forum
Discover Uganda Exhibition
Dinner Boat Cruise

Here are some sponsorship benefits:

Adverts in the UNAA Convention Program Book and the Miss Uganda North America Contestants Magazine
Outstanding presence on UNAA Convention marketing signage
On-screen adverts during events (including lunches, dinners, Trade and Investment Forum,  Miss Uganda North America)
Event Red Carets
Speaking opportunities during events
Ongoing marketing on UNAA and Miss Uganda North America websites

On top of Chicago being an attractive city and the UNAA brand being on the rise, the Chicago Convention will also be an election convention. That means maximum attendance. Take advantage of the above business opportunities and let us build together! Contact us if you have any questions.

Presented by
Julius Kabugu

Julius Kabugu is the current Communications Director for the Ugandan North American Association. He’s a software engineer and semi-professional photographer. He is also a co-founder and the marketing and communications director of the Miss Uganda North America Leadership Program. He is also a proud husband and father of 3, living in Austin, Texas.

Submit Proposals for 2019 Venture Podium

UNAA is pleased to announce that the Venture Podium will be back at the 2019 Trade and Investment Forum.

The VENTURE PODIUM is a period of time that has been set aside in the afternoon session of the UNAA Trade and Investments Forum where aspiring entrepreneurs in our community will be given an opportunity to stand in front of and pitch their business ideas to the entire gathering.  Presenters may pitch their ideas in search of investors or merely to solicit feedback on a potential project or venture already underway.

It is our pleasure to announce that several projects have already been proposed for this session.

  1. A partnership to buy and rent property in Uganda.
  2. A partnership to buy and rent property in the US.
  3. A partnership to buy land and develop affordable housing in Uganda
  4. A partnership to engage in food grain purchase, processing, storage and resale in Uganda.

Anyone who would like to make a presentation in this session should send an email with a summary of their project to venturepodium@unaaonline.org.  Projects can be in Uganda or anywhere in North America.  Presenters can also come from Uganda or North America and must be registered convention delegates.

2019 UNAA Convention: Meet the 700 seater Odyssey Dinner Cruise

Unmatched views of Chicago’s world-famous skyline await you. From the Willis Tower, the John Hancock, to the Shedd Aquarium, Aon Center and much more. Set off from the breathtaking Navy Pier aboard the Odyssey Dinner Cruise and sail off on a 3-hour escape from the city. With 4 floors of entertainment, including a VIP section where you will get to mingle with the artistes, there is entertainment for everyone.

Enjoy dinner at a window and take in Chicago’s skyline, or go out to the deck and feel the beautiful Lake Michigan breeze. Either way, the Odyssey on Lake Michigan is where you will want to be on the evening of Saturday August 31st 2019. Tickets on sale now. Check out the video below.

UNAA Leaders and LOC: Chicago is Ready for 2019 Convention

On Sunday April 28th 2019, representatives from UNAA’s executive committee, council, board of trustees and the 2019 Chicago Convention Local Organizing Committee completed a 3-day series of meetings to iron out the last details ahead of the 2019 UNAA Convention and assess the local community’s readiness. At the end of the weekend, UNAA leaders declared the Chicago community was ready to host the convention.

What is the Site Visit?

The site visit is the most important face-to-face planning weekend of the Ugandan North American Association’s leaders. The gathering attracts representatives from all bodies of the organization (executive, council and board of trustees). There are a few reasons for this planning weekend.

  • UNAA leaders listen to the convention local organizing committee and answer questions in a bid to assess the community’s readiness to host the convention.
  • Each leadership organ uses the opportunity to meet and discuss their operations and new strategies.
  • Important assessments of the convention venue take place, including food tasting, hotel tour, boat tour, event space mapping and programming, as well as planning convenience for convention delegates.
  • Special teams such as marketing, entertainment, security, registration, Trade and Investment Forum, Miss Uganda North America, etc get to meet in person for final brainstorming.

Key Outcomes

  • There will be a major focus on security and registration/checkin convenience at the 2019 UNAA convention
  • Plans are full speed ahead to complete the introduction of new programs: a themed business exhibition, a women’s forum, full-day programs for kids and youths, and a more interactive trade and investment forum. Well-performing programs such as Miss Uganda North America, the Venture Podium and Technology Tours will also be getting a boost in support to keep them successful.
  • Expected speakers for the 2019 convention include Ugandan and international inspirational figures from around the world, with a key focus on having more guest speakers living in North America.
  • The 700-capacity Odyssey cruises on Lake Michigan will be the official boat cruise for the convention. With  4 levels of entertainment – including a VIP section – this will be as big as a dinner boat cruise gets.

The Local Organizing Committee chairman, Eddie Kyobe, thanked UNAA leaders for visiting Chicago and reassured everyone present that the local community is both excited and committed to delivering a great experience for convention guests.

UNAA Vice President Eng. John Julius Muwulya and Executive Secretary Peter Mukunya, representing the UNAA executive, promised that the executive will provide all the necessary support that the local community needs, and thanked the local community for rising above their differences to work together.

The 2019 UNAA Convention will run August 29th to September 1st 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel in Chicago’s downtown. Thousands of delegates are expected, including Ugandan and non-Ugandan cultural enthusiasts, business professionals, leaders and potential investors.

UNAA Chicago: A Brand New Trade and Investment Forum

The Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) is proud to announce a brand new format for the annual Uganda – North America Trade and Investment Forum, which will be a part of the 2019 UNAA Convention in Chicago, Illinois at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. The UNAA Convention runs from Thursday August 29th 2019 to Sunday September 1st 2019. The convention and forum theme is “Cultural Diversity and Economic Empowerment: Building a Stronger Diaspora Community.”

The Trade and Investment Forum will be one of the highlights of Friday August 30th 2019, dubbed: “Passport to Uganda: The Ugandan Innovation and Culture Showcase.”   This day will also feature the Miss Uganda North America Beauty Pageant.

Thursday Night: Sponsor Appreciation Networking Mixer

This will be the 11th edition of the Trade and Investment Forum, but there will be major changes to the format of the forum. The event will kick off on the evening of Thursday August 29th with a Sponsor Appreciation Networking Mixer, which will be open to sponsors, business owners and professionals with the Convention Business Guest Pass.

Vendor Exhibition is now Discover Uganda / Invest in Uganda Expo

The vendor exhibition is getting a new look as the ‘Discover Uganda / Invest in Uganda Expo,’ featuring themed vendor booths with categories such as technology, banking, taste of Uganda, tourism, non profits and wealth/investment products.

Fakhruddin Properties at the 2018 Vendor Exhibition (UNAA Seattle 2018)

Trade and Investment Forum: Panels and Presentations

Another major improvement to this year’s forum will be the more exciting, interactive panels and presentations, featuring a diverse list of panelists and presenters that are innovators or experts on international business, banking and wealth management. If you are interested in presenting or being a panelist, send us an email.

Patrick Ayota, NSSF CEO and Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Forum

The Venture Podium is Back

2018 marked the first edition of the The Venture Podium. This investment pitch is modeled against the Shark Tank, and the best presenter will win an investment cash award and marketing support from UNAA. If you are interested in presenting at the venture podium, send us an email.


Access to the Invest in Uganda Expo is free. Access to the Trade and Investment Forum, where all the panels, presentations and venture podium will happen, is free to registered convention guests, and $60 for non-registered convention guests.

Uganda Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga at the 2018 Trade and Investment Forum

Chicago, Ugandan and Diaspora African Media Houses to Provide Coverage

UNAA is positioning this as a day to share the beauty of Uganda and its business and trade opportunities with the international community. The day will feature local Chicago media and Ugandan media houses.

Don’t Miss the After-Party: Miss Uganda North America

This Passport to Uganda day will end with Miss Uganda North America: Night of Fashion and Culture for Women Empowerment, a show that is riding on three years of massive success with its international leadership program.

Miss Uganda North America

Sponsorships and Exhibition Spots Available

For sponsorships, to advertise or to be a part of the exhibition at the Invest in Uganda Expo, contact us.

UNAA Chicago: Miss Uganda North America is Back

The hit beauty pageant is back for round 3! Last year saw Shalom Aburu from the host city of Seattle winning the prestigious crown. Will Chicago repeat this feat? This year’s theme is ‘Empowered by Diversity’ and the prize includes a trip to Uganda for the winner, and UNAA’s ‘Emerging Leaders’ Scholarships for the top 3.

About Miss Uganda North America

The Miss Uganda North America Leadership Program was started in 2017 as a partnership between Inzozi Fashion House and the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA). Today it has grown into an independent leadership program and continues to successfully execute various initiatives around the globe to implement its objectives.

The program supports young Ugandan women living or studying in North America to achieve their educational and leadership goals by promoting awareness of global issues and their cultural heritage. It also creates opportunities for them to connect with Ugandan and international communities globally to discover ways to collaborate on business, women’s issues, education, charity and other initiatives. Recently, the founders of Miss Uganda North America spun off a new program – African Women Lead – that will extend its initiatives to all African women around the globe.

This year’s Miss Uganda North America theme is ‘Empowered By Diversity.’ Women bring so much uniqueness to society. Uniqueness can be in the form of ancestry, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, political beliefs, race, preferences, lifestyle, past experiences and much more. The aim of this theme is to work with our Class of 2019 to explore how this diversity can be used to better the world, and to spread a message of tolerance by celebrating the richness of culture and the strength of society that are created by diversity.

More information on the program and contestant applications can be found at www.missugnorthamerica.com

Miss Uganda North America 2019: Empowered by Diversity

Miss Uganda North America tickets are now on sale!

UNAA Chicago: Comedian Salvado To Host. Confirmed Artists.

Comedian Patrick Idringi – aka Salvado – will host at the 2019 UNAA Convention at the Hyatt Regency Chicago from August 29th to September 1st 2019. The celebrated comedian has received international acclaim as one of Uganda’s funniest comedians – performing and competing in West Africa, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He is also one of the most sought-after event MCs on the African continent.

Other Updates

Artist Line-up
These are the artists that have been confirmed so far, with more to come. Stay tuned for more updates on the artist lineup.

  • Chameleone * Legendary multi-genre artist. Latest hit: Mateeka.
  • Fille * Leading female artist. Latest hit: Bye-bye Ex.
  • Geosteady * One of the hottest voices on the continent. Latest hit: Ebisembayo.
  • John Blaq * Most-talked-about newcomer. Latest hit: Tukwatagane.
  • Naira Ali * Leading female artist. Latest hit: Sikyalinda.
  • Kenneth Mugabi * HiPipo award winner. Dubbed the AfroSoul genius. Latest hit: Oliwa.

Don’t forget to purchase Extras

Miss Uganda North America (tickets discounted with convention registration) and Saturday Dinner Boat Cruise tickets are now on sale.

Official Welcome – UNAAChicago2019 LOC Chair

Warm greetings from Chi-town, the city of big shoulders Chicago.

We are undoubtedly excited to be hosting UNAA 2019 in our city. The 3rd largest city in the US has a lot to offer that the convention goer will surely enjoy.

Our theme this year is ‘Cultural Diversity and Economic Empowerment: Building Stronger Diaspora Community’ As Ugandans living in the diaspora, we should be proud of who we are through celebrating, recognizing and advancing our cultures, norms and way of life.

Chicago 2019 is one of the places we want to showcase this. Don’t leave your traditional attires home. Chicago being the birthplace of the UNAA trade and investment forum back in 2009, we are working on an extensive version to build on what was started in 2018 Seattle. The local organizing committee is striving to bring on board businesses and individuals that will add value to our already resourceful forum. Entrepreneurships and business collaborations have started at
these UNAA business forums, empowering our communities and members. This should be on everyone’s to-do list for Chicago 2019.

This year we plan on having a convention that will cater for everyone from the kids, youth, adults and our elderly. We will have in place programs suitable for each group. The big number of youth we have shouldn’t miss out on the programs designed specifically to meet their backgrounds. Our youth team is working to have them engaged all throughout the convention right from Thursday through Sunday.

A lot of parents have expressed lack of enough children programs at UNAA conventions. Chicago 2019 has this at the forefront. To free up the parents so they can attend forums, network, have fun and not have to worry about the kids, we will have busy, fun packed activities throughout the convention to keep our kids entertained and engaged. Bring your kids with you so you can all share the Chicago memories together.

Entertainment will be at its best in Chicago. The lineup of artists is splendid. This year we plan on catering for both the youth and older generations. We have carefully reviewed our past glitches and are trying our best to close all those loopholes.

For those who love cruising on the water, The Chicago Odyssey dinner cruise is going to be the first of its kind in UNAA history. We are to be treated to a live fireworks show as we cruise Lake Michigan waters. This spectacular view of the Chicago night skyline and fireworks at the same time isn’t something anyone would want to miss.

In addition to the exciting busy convention program, Chicago as a city is a place to visit. With its state of the art architectural skyline, art galleries, museums, parks, beaches, restaurants, there’s a lot to do and see. And all these will be in walking distance from our convention hotel the magnificent Hyatt Regency on Wacker drive.

There is all the reason to be in Chicago Labor Day weekend 2019. We are looking forward to hosting you and your families and trust me you will create numerous everlasting memories. There’s in place a very vibrant, resourceful, hardworking local team striving to make this a memorable event for everyone.

Visit www.unaaonline.org/chicago2019 to complete your registration and also reserve your hotel room before they run out. While there also renew or pay your membership to be able to vote for your new leaders. It’s election year Chicago 2019.

See you on August 29th 2019!

Eddie Kyobe
Chairman Local Organizing Committee – UNAA Chicago 2019
Deputy Speaker – UNAA Council
Council Representative – Great Lakes Region

Meet the new UNAA BOT and Electoral Commission

Board of Trustees

One of the UNAA Council’s most urgent tasks after the 2018 UNAA Convention in Seattle was to confirm a new Board of Trustees.  We are pleased to unveil the now confirmed UNAA Board of Trustees:

  • Mr. John Agaba – Chairman
  • Mrs. Aisha Musoke Ogwang – Secretary
  • Dr. Benjamin Omara Abe
  • Ms. Caroline Olok
  • Dr. Peter Simbi

Click here to READ MORE about the UNAA BOT

Electoral Commission

Furthermore, On December 4th, 2018, in a letter to BOT Chairman John Agaba, the UNAA Speaker Alex Semwanga confirmed on behalf of the UNAA Council the appointment of the following individuals to the UNAA Electoral Commission.

1 Herbert Twase
2 Betty Wakou
3 Hydeen Reich
4 Florence Bazanye
5 Ivan Mwanja
6 Florence W Studstill
7 Fiona Babumba
8 Fred Byabagye
9 Alex Lubega
10 Tina Kasujja

11 Mohamed Kaggwa
12 Kriss Namakola
13 Barbara Munube
14 Richard Kyabihende
15 Wasswa Ddamulira
16 Elizabeth Alinda
17 Samantha Muhunde
18 Philip Mbabazi
19 Sophia Nabadda
20 Micheal Mugwanya

Please join us in wishing our incoming officials success in their efforts to move UNAA forward.

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