Cambridge-Africa

Dr Winnifred Tarinyeba Kiryabwire

Dr Winnifred Tarinyeba Kiryabwire (Makerere University)

Research title: Legal and Institutional Constraints to the Development of Early Stage Enterprise Financing in Uganda

Research project: The law, finance and development trajectory is well understood by law and economics scholars. Access to and cost of credit are the most cited constraints to doing business in Uganda and similarly situated economies. This is attributed to several factors including macro-economic challenges, a shallow financial sector, moral hazard, information asymmetry and other factors that are a result of structural problems particularly weak legal and institutional frameworks. Reforms aimed at broadening and deepening the financial sector have approached the issue of enterprise finance with various policy interventions that are sometimes misguided or not well thought through. A key gap has been a failure to understand the key defining characteristics of business enterprises in Uganda such as age, ownership, sector so as to inform appropriate interventions to and develop appropriate financing institutions. Several surveys indicate that the majority of business in Uganda are in the early stage, that is 5- 10 years. While most efforts concentrate on MSME finance, very little is put into understanding constraints to early stage financing. This research examines the constraints to the development of early stage financing and in particular to understand: a) Sources of early stage financing; b) Early stage financing risks and measures to mitigate those risks; c) Constraints to the development of early stage financing institutions; and d) Legal and policy measures to improve early stage financing.

Collaborator Professor Simon Deakin, Faculty of Law