ICCO Awarded by Youth Business International
ICCO in Uganda is one of the two first prize winners of the second annual Youth Business International Innovation Challenge. This Challenge, supported by Accenture, aims to encourage the development of innovative services for young entrepreneurs.
Two winners, ICCO Cooperation and Qredits, were awarded $80,000 in total for their projects. They were selected by a panel of expert judges as well as by YBI members voting. The winners were also awarded consultancy support to help them further develop their ideas.
Increased Access to Finance With a Digital Loan Application
ICCO won the award with its program ‘Digital A-CAT for Improved Lending to Young Agripreneurs’.
Many agripreneurs in Northern Uganda face challenges when seeking financing with few loans available and steep interest rates. ICCO Uganda will work with the Rural Finance Initiative to link high-potential youth farmers with microfinance institutions and provide a newly developed agricultural loan that offers a low interest rate. They will use a credit assessment tool that tracks the costs of agricultural performance and revenue, minimizing risks for both agripreneurs and microfinance institutes.
Joanne Ebbers, ICCO Uganda Country Manager, said:
“We are so happy to be able to roll out the pilot and can’t wait to get started! We hope it will help the young people we work with to grow their agribusinesses and create new jobs for other young people. Over the long-term, we want to use the programme to improve access to finance for many young people all over the world.”
This year organizations could propose new models and approaches in four areas: mentoring, training, access to finance and access to markets.
Anita Tiessen, YBI Chief Executive, said: “We had innovative, impressive finalists to choose from, and the judges and I are confident the two exceptional winners will deliver useful new tools that will help tens of thousands of young, underserved entrepreneurs across the YBI family for many years to come.”
The judging criteria included:
- Problem validation: the level of understanding of the end beneficiaries, their needs and desires, and proof of validation of the problem the project is trying to address.
- Compelling solution: the uniqueness and innovativeness of the solution.
- Viability of implementation: the knowledge and capability of the team implementing the project and the technical feasibility of the solution proposed.
- Sustainability and scalability: the ability of the organization(s) to take the project forward and scale it after the implementation phase.
Also the organization Qredits was awarded. The other Innovation Challenge finalists were: Youth Business Spain, FATE Foundation, Yo Queiro Yo Puedo, Fundación Paraguaya.
The two winning initiatives will be implemented between November 2019 and June 2020.