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Birungi Korutaro

Kilimo Trust


Dr. Birungi Korutaro is a senior executive and business leader with extensive experience in sustainable agriculture and inclusive agricultural market development in Eastern and South Africa. Building on a corporate background in the energy sector, Birungi brings business expertise to support and accelerate the growth of tourism start-ups, SMEs as well as farmers in order to create change in local communities. She is committed to creating social change through entrepreneurship.
Currently, she is the CEO of Kilimo Trust, an East African regional not for profit organization that supports agribusinesses and farmers to access national, regional and global markets. Making agribusiness a transformative tool for wealth creation, food and nutrition security for smallholder farmers and other value chain actors is the mission of the organization. Birungi seeks the support of the WLW fellowship and network to diversify the revenue streams of the organization in order to scale out successful business models into Africa and expand the social impact of her work.

Birungi Korutaro


What is your story?

What drives your work?

I am passionate about creating change and empowering others to to be a better version of themselves.

My story: I joined Shell Uganda in 1995 as a management trainee and grew through the ranks. However, after 8 years I felt there was more I could do for humanity, but I was not sure what it would be. I resigned from Shell and embarked on an MBA at UCT. While on the MBA, I got to learn about social enterprises and was drawn to working in the development space. It is now close to 20 years working with SMEs in various sectors, working with governments, universities, etc. All the work I do now has a direct impact on the lives of other people. I am happiest when an entrepreneur thanks Kilimo Trust for opening new markets for their business, and they have grown.

Describe your biggest strength as a leader

My biggest strength is that I am decisive and a visionary; I empower my teams to grow and lead; I communicate often and clearly with my teams; and I am trusted by my team.

Describe your biggest challenge as a leader

Communicating in public and networking effectively.

About the
and the Project.



Vision & Mission

Kilimo Trust is a not-for-profit organization that collaborates with stakeholders in the agricultural sector to address the challenges faced by farmers and other value chain actors in Eastern Africa. We aim to enhance agricultural productivity, provide reliable agricultural markets, increase sustained farmer incomes and promote food and nutrition security in the region.

Our vision is to achieve sustained and equitable wealth creation, food and nutrition security for smallholder farmers and other value chain actors.

Our mission is to make agribusiness a transformative tool for wealth creation, food and nutrition security for smallholder farmers and other value chain actors.

Year Founded


No. of Employees


Years in the Organization

10 years 7 months

Annual Budget (USD)


Geographical Area Served

Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Tanzania, and Ethiopia

Organizational /

Project Description

I would like to focus on the 3rd strategic pillar of our new strategy which prioritizes resource mobilization and sustainability. The organization should raise at least US$ 10 Million annually.
To achieve this, one of the pathways is to increase the visibility of the organization and the tell the impact of the work we have done.

We also need to aim to have 80% of the organization’s funding sourced from donor projects and 20% sourced from alternative sources like the commercialization of internal initiatives or information we have.

As the CEO I am the chief communicator of the organization. I believe I must visible and tell compelling stories of our work.

The major goals - secure donor partners that can support our vision and mission. Currently, we are struggling to cover our indirect costs of an average of USD 500,000 per year. We have been drawing on reserves we acculated about 10 years ago, However, because of the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, we are remaining with less than USD 500,000 now. This threatens the existence of the organization and the work we do in the region.
Therefore the first goal is to secure a funder that can support us with USD 500,000 per year to keep afloat.

Secondly, I need to be able to find investors that can invest in some of the business ideas we have so that we can have another revenue stream and reduce our reliance on development partners."

Why is this project important and timely?

What is the target population of your project? 

The target population is about 1.5 Million smallholder farmers in East Africa, and more than 500 agribusinesses with high potential. If these businesses are supported we can potentially create more than 150,000 jobs over the next 5 years.

How will you know that you have achieved that impact? What data will you use to assess your impact?

We have M&E indicators to track our monthly, quarterly, and annual project performance. Some of these indicators are output indicators, and others are outcome indicators. There is a team in the M&E Unit that collects all our activity and project data.

How do you anticipate this unique leadership education impacting you personally? What new skills are you hoping too develop & grow through this experience?

a) I will grow in my leadership style. I am on a journey, and I feel I am halfway there. Through this program, I believe I will realize my FULL leadership potential b) have more knowledge on how I can create more impact—more value for farming communities, better livelihoods, and a better world; c) I will learn to network and be more confident in meeting new people. d) I will also learn how to negotiate better for higher pay.

Where would you like to see yourself professionally in the next 3 years?

I would like to be a global advisor, a thought leader, and an international speaker. I would like my reach to be beyond East Africa. And I would like to continue learning and doing research, not just in East Africa but with global research partners.

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