Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Explain your project in details:
Youth in Uganda are the youngest population in the world, constituting 77% under 30 years of age. On top of being the majority, 83% of the youths aged 1524 are unemployed. This rate is even higher for those who have formal education from higher institutions of learning living in urban areas. This is due to disconnect between the theoretical knowledge gained from school and the vocational skills needed for the jobs. Youth unemployment poses a serious political, economic, and social challenge to the country and its leadership. The cycle is making it increasingly difficult for Uganda to break out of poverty. This is why we came up with this project dubbed the YOUTH SENATE to give a platform to all youth in Uganda irrespective of their political affiliations, gender and ethnicity by mentoring them to start up businesses, increase political participation and youth representation from local level to the national level. The senate identifies young people from different regions in Uganda,empower them with knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and leadership to help them create employment opportunities. After training and mentor-ship,we connect them to markets where they sell their products and get the money.In doing this we are creating jobs and empowering young business leaders. The youth senate also mentors young people to join politics through our leadership academy program,this helps them to take up sensitive positions like in the fields of budgeting and resource allocation. The empowerment is done through capacity building trainings,social media,online mentorship,radio and television debates.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Uganda Youth Senate has delivered on a number of key achievements and initiatives which have impacted on the sustainability for example: Participated in the design and implementation of Soko Mkononi project whose goal was to increase market access and investment opportunities for SMEs in Tanzania and Uganda. We partnered with a youth organisation in Tanzania called vision for youth and managed to develop an online portal and gathered information of youth entrepreneurs in the countries which we later uploaded on the website and this helped the entrepreneurs to know each other and trade their goods and services easily. http://www.eaciidea.net/2017/04/05/soko-mkononi-placing-the-east-african-market-in-citizens-hands/ Strengthened participation of Youth in areas of respect for human rights, inclusive & accountable governance, as well as effective leadership through public forums that trained over 200 young leaders and 100 community leaders in Kapchorwa, Lira, Kasese ,Zombo and Kampala districts among many others. The participants directly reached over 5, 000 young people within their networks. http://ugyouthsenate.org/index.php/2017/01/17/uganda-youth-senate-launches-an-anti-corruption-campain/ Continuous contribution by our members on the youth agenda; locally, regionally and internationally in conferences, workshops and dialogue forums held all over the world.This has made most of our youth succeed on many frontiers in leadership where most of our members have won elections to represent youth on different forums http://ugyouthsenate.org/index.php/2016/11/04/uys-nec-member-wins-electoral-race-at-uganda-christian-university/ Partnered with a number of media houses to help us carry out capacity building and civic education on issues of entrepreneurship,leadership and good governance. Helped 40 youths to start businesses in Uganda which is creating jobs and reducing levels of poverty
Sustainability and future plans
The structure of the youth senate is comprised of the national executive committee, national assembly, regional senates, district senates, sub county senates, parish senates and village senates. The students leadership and tertiary institutions have slots in the national assembly. At its inception, each member of the national assembly was advised to pay a membership fee of ten thousand Uganda shillings ($3).There are 130 members meaning a total of one million, three hundred thousand shillings($361.11) was collected. We decided to use this money to empower our senators economically. We identified fast foods (Chapatti/Rolex) and value addition (Popcorns) businesses. We started with 4 youth senators, two chapatti stalls and two popcorn machines each at three hundred thousand shillings ($83.33).According to the research we had made each senator makes at least $3 profit a day and he or she is supposed to contribute $1.94 weekly to the youth senate account. The accumulated money after two months was used to start another stall for another senator and now we have 40 youth senators doing the business. Our target in future is to have as many youth as possible in this kind of arrangement which we have named the senate economy. When we get capital, we will have many youth doing this business and contributing to the senate account which will in the long run empower young people to start even bigger businesses. We have 1500 in total and we are planning to roll it down up to the district level,where the membership fee can also be used to empower some of our senators.When the number of youth in business increases,we are planning to start up a youth senate micro finance,where those in business will be required to contribute money weekly and after two months we increase on the number of the youth to start up small businesses.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Being brought up by illiterate parents in a rural, poor and illiterate community of Kyabanyoro village south western Uganda since 1986,I was challenged at a tender age to work my way up for the better of myself,my community and my country.I realized at the age of 9 that without education,my story will remain the same and that is when I convinced my parents that I will go to school and raise my own school fees. My entrepreneurial journey started at that point,I had to use my father's plantation to add value to banana juice and make a local brew which I sold to go to school.I did that business up to University. After my degree in chemical engineering,I got a job as a process engineer where I worked for Coca Cola and Pepsi cola Uganda for a period of 7 years but because of my entrepreneurial passion,I resigned my job to focus on empowering youth in my community to start up small businesses by adding value to the agricultural products. My model is to mobilize youth into groups by focusing on agriculture as the mode of production then use my chemical engineering skill to add value to their agricultural products.This helps them to get employment by starting up these small businesses.