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50 Ugandan Young Innovators Receive USD5,000 Each In Seed Capital

Joint Effort Group is among the 50 groups that benefited from the US$250, 000 funding.

Fifty innovators have benefited from US$250, 000 in funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Accountant App, The 5 Innovators, Joint Effort Group, Smart Skills Innovation Group, and Upendo, among other youth groups, benefited from US$5,000 (Shs19.07m) each as seed capital in the i-Upshift initiative.

Upshift is a social innovation and social entrepreneurship skills-building program for marginalized adolescents and youth, jointly implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF Uganda.

The beneficiary groups were announced at the Youth Social Innovation Summit held at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala.

Presiding over the event as the chief guest, the Minister of State for Children and Youth Affairs, Balaam Barugahara, said Uganda is a nation of young people who should secure their future by being creative.

“Our future is bright. We are a nation of young people,”  said Barugahara, adding that fighting youth unemployment in the country requires concerted efforts.

To this end, he commended the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the financial support.

“These are practical real-world tools (skills). The lives of many youth living in camps will change. The $5,000 is not just financial support; it is not just money; it is confidence,” he said.

Barugahara assured the participants of the government’s efforts in developing skills and, as such, pledged to do more.

Khushbakht Hojiev, the representative of UNICEF Uganda, commended the government of Uganda for investing in young people. “You are a generation unlimited,” Khushbakht Hojiev told a youthful participants in the audience. “You will be a contributor to the development of Uganda.”

He pledged total support for young innovators in the country.

ILO’s Chief Technical Advisor, Stephen Opio, said Uganda has 300,000 economic opportunities. So far, the i-Upshift initiative has reached 2,400 young people.

“We are supporting profitable ventures by young people, but can we look at these ideas as business ideas?” said Opio.

He added that the program will continue to support successful innovators financially and technically.

Opio said that the program is complimentary to the efforts of the government of Uganda in creating jobs for young people.

With partnerships and collaborations, Opio says that the creation of 300,000 opportunities in the country is achievable.

 

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