Youth Entrepreneurship Program Launched in Sub-Saharan Africa to Generate More Jobs

ICCO Cooperation has launched a three-year regional High Flyers Youth Entrepreneurship Program in Uganda.

Youth Entrepreneurship Program Launched in Sub-Saharan Africa to Generate More Jobs

This initiative will enable underserved youth in Sub-Saharan Africa to scale sustainable businesses thus generating jobs and strengthening local communities. The ‘High Flyers’ programme is implemented in partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) and Enterprise Uganda and funded by the Argidius Foundation, Government of Uganda, Accenture and Enterprise Uganda.

While the economic outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa is positive, youth unemployment rates are still on the rise. Despite entrepreneurship becoming a viable solution in tackling this issue, business survival and growth represent major challenges. In 2014, only 2% of Ugandan businesses planned to employ more than 20 people in the next five years.

1,700 young entrepreneurs receive support

To address this issue, the ‘High Flyers’ Youth Entrepreneurship Programme plans to provide 1,700 young high-potential entrepreneurs in Uganda with financial and non-financial support including enterprise training (focused on access to markets, value addition and value chain integrations), ongoing mentoring support, access to finance and additional business development support. In addition to this, the programme aims to help these entrepreneurs increase their income and generate 1,700 new paid jobs.

Marinus Verweij, CEO of ICCO: “Uganda has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. The ‘High Flyers’ programme helps to grow existing businesses of young people so that they can absorb more labour force. The partnership and ICCO’s expertise and networks will provide great support to young entrepreneurs and sustainable entrepreneurship.”

Establishing a Cross African Regional Community of Practice

As part of the programme, YBI together with the consortium of partners will also establish a cross African Regional Community of Practice. This initiative will act as platform for YBI member organizations such as ICCO Uganda in Africa, enabling them to share knowledge and expertise, products and services and collaborate in tackling the common challenges faced in the region.

About Youth Business International

Youth Business International (YBI) is a global network of expert organisations in over 50 countries supporting underserved young people to turn their ideas into successful businesses, creating jobs and strengthening communities. Go to the website YBI for more information.

About the Argidius Foundation

Argidius aims to help entrepreneurs to build profitable businesses and contribute to the sustainable development of their communities. We do so by improving the effectiveness and reach of small and medium enterprise capacity development services. Go to the website Argidius for more information.

About Enterprise Uganda

Enterprise Uganda is a public-private institution designed to support the government in realising its objectives of promoting the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to become the main vehicle for expanding production, providing sustainable jobs and enhancing economic growth. Go to the website of Enterprise Uganda for more information.

About ICCO Uganda

ICCO Uganda is part of the wider global Dutch not-for-profit organisation ICCO Cooperation. We secure the livelihoods and rights of smallholder farmers, especially women and youth. We aim to increase their food and nutrition security and expand income and job opportunities to provide economic growth and stability.

As of 1st January 2021 ICCO has joined forces with Cordaid and continues as one organization under the name Cordaid.

ICCO’s international website will remain online for the time being and can be visited here or go to Cordaid: