Wetaase

Wetaase: W

kampala, UgandaNkokonjeru, Uganda
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

For a rural youth with no hope, “WETAASE” exists to empower him/her economically while ensuring that he gets out of poverty. The springboard of “WETAASE” is a maize mill factory that processes maize into posho flour in Nkokonjeru Buikwe district.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

If one leaves a village to Kampala to ride a boda boda, do they earn more than they would in rural agriculture(maize growing)?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Youth unemployment in Uganda is the highest in Africa. A recent study published by Action Aid, put youth unemployment at 62%, although the African Development Bank says it could be as high as 83%. This has forced youth to desert villages hurting food security to flock in towns for jobs only to find themselves forced into prostitution, drug trafficking and all sorts of crimes. The youth have lost confidence in farming. These are the hard lessons w

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our solution “WETAASE” a maize mill factory intends to increase opportunities for the youth to get jobs by organizing them into groups of five (5) members and providing them small-business development training, hands-on maize growing training, and basic ICT skills. “WETAASE” then advances small loans to them to grow maize and allows them to repay by selling the ready corn to the factory for processing into posho flour. A portion of maize bran is given back to them as feeds to engage in poultry and pig farming. The result is motivating and a self-start into self-employment.

Awards

Nothing yet since this is the first time its participating in a competion
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Take a case of family with between 1 to 5 acres of land. The family either sells part of the land for the children to go to town and find jobs in most cases buying a motorcycle to engage in boda business which depreciates in two years. For how long then will the family continue selling land? It became evident to us that this wasn’t a sustainable way and it actually created more poverty in villages. Our solution to this problem was “Wetaase” which organizes youth into groups, trains them into financial literacy, basic ICT skills, small business management, and hands on maize growing training then we advance small loans to engage in maize growing

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In 2013, we built the factory and started with 20 youth as our model. Currently 5 youth are full time employees at the maize mill factory and another 20 engaged in poultry and pig rearing and another 50 in full time maize growing business. We acquired more land and we plan to set up another factory unit to process poultry feeds so as to help more youth access poultry feeds at affordable prices.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our target is to acquire more land that we can lease to those youth interested in maize growing with little or no land such that we have a reach of 1000 youth engaged in meaningful maize growing and other value addition activities such as poultry and pig rearing by end of 2016. We plan to expand operations to cover other vulnerable groups like the women by 2018.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Increase our net profit by 30%, lower our production and operational costs by 60% increase our market for the factory products. We also plan to do some research and product development for invention of new products catalogue. The factory also plans to buy ready maize corn from other areas to supplement what is provided by the youth groups.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We know that other players exist in the market with almost similar services. However, we are serving the market that is not fully served by them. Through our unique group methodology model of inclusiveness from inception to end, we have built a trusted reputation among the youth not only for providing them meaningful employment, but addressing four other key areas i.e. training, business incubation, ICT skills and self-sustainability. This is a win for us.
Team

Founding Story

The term “Wetaase” literally means “bail yourself out”. This idea was to ride on the back born of organizing youth into groups, train them, provide them small loans and let them engage in maize growing. The idea came about as result of my humble beginnings in the village. Having been raised by peasant parents who were farmers and managed to educate me from village schools up the level of attaining an undergraduate degree and currently about to graduate with an MBA specializing in entrepreneurship, i was challenged to do something as a means of making an impact to my village hence the setting up a maize mill factory and the “wetaase project”.

Team

Behind this innovation, there is a dedicated team with 5 years of combined experience in ICT, entrepreneurship and Agriculture. I am soon graduating with an MBA specializing in entrepreneurship; i also have 5 years banking experience majorly in ICT field. I oversee the growth strategy of the factory. Robinah, my partner is an accounting professional who manages the finances of the maize mill factory. We as well get overall guidance from Lawrence our dad who has over 30yrs experience in agriculture.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Through Twitter

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder/St Raphael Maize Mill Factory

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I graduated in January 2010, I was employed for six months and my contract wasn’t renewed. At 25, I used my savings to start an ICT company named UNIMAX Technologies. Today the company has expanded into provision of videography services and currently it employs 10 people; in 2012 I used profits from the company to start a Family farm, to date we have planted around 2000 pine trees on our family land and we are keeping 10 heads of cattle on the farm. I have participated in the Rockefeller challenge 2013 and my idea of “Bank on wheels”was recognized although I didn’t win the challenge; I have the experience and acumen to grow my “WETAASE” initiative.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

I work closely with my siblings, friends, MBA classmates and my parents.

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