Youth Entrepreneurship Programme Launched in Sub-Saharan Africa
How to get a job when there is no work? Start your own business! To address this issue, ICCO has launched a three-year regional ‘ High Flyers’ Youth Entrepreneurship Programme in Uganda. This initiative will enable under-served youth in Sub-Saharan Africa to scale sustainable businesses.
The ‘High Flyers’ programme is implemented in partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) and Enterprise Uganda. Funders are the Argidius Foundation, the government of Uganda, Accenture and Enterprise Uganda.
Generate jobs and strengthen local communicties
The programme aims to generate jobs and strengthen local communities. 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
The ‘High Flyers’ Youth Entrepreneurship Programme plans to provide 1,700 young high-potential entrepreneurs in Uganda with financial and non-financial support. It includes 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 also establishes a cross African Regional Community of Practice. This initiative acts 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 under-served young people to turn their ideas into successful businesses, creating jobs and strengthening communities. For more information, visit www.youthbusiness.org.
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.
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.