TEA for everyone

TEA for everyone

Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The empowerment academy is a restoration project that supports marginalized and exploited persons to realize and harness their skills potentials and change their socioeconomic destinies. Paying activities in which to work, earn and contribute to support others are initiated for and with them. They become entrepreneurs and face social injustices such as domestic violence through economic power.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There are many barriers to holistic socioeconomic development that perpetuate marginalization and social injustices in many nations. For instance, Uganda’s formal education does not inculcate entrepreneurship among learners; producing job seekers rather than creators. Most of them are early school dropouts and are socioeconomically powerless. Consequently, there is widespread domestic violence and rape resulting into single motherhood and street childhood. Further, the saving and investment culture is absent among hard working rural dwellers due to inaccessibility or hard conditions of mainstream banking. While such people have skill potentials to harness, acquisition or access is limited. Most interventions are mostly rehabilitative than empowering, tackling effects but not barriers.

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

Through the empowerment academy, marginalized people and victims of injustices are rehabilitated, trained and economically empowered. They acquire skills to offer relevant services to their immediate communities. Community supported income generating activities are initiated with them as teams or individuals. All those trained and occupied make savings in a virtual bank through 'telesaving'. In this case, savings are done by mobile money transfers to a storage phone number. Mobile money is a solution whose use for phone banking is possible but unused. People only transfer money but do not bank there as savings. A storage phone number is therefore used as a banking facility for members, no matter their locations. After agreed periods, the savings are withdrawn for reinvestment. Finally, everyone challenges injustice with the attained economic power. Teams in each country can be guided to operate localized entrepreneurial academies to mentor thousands of others with multiplier effects.
Impact: How does it Work

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

We Search, rehabilitate and restore marginalized and victimized persons; map out with them a training and job strategy (based on skill potentials and service gaps in their communities to fill); train them while holding meetings in communities along service needs (such as kindergarten services, hair salons, eating joints, transport service or farm stores); and deploy graduates as entrepreneurs. However, the general aim is to establish localized empowerment academies to continuously provide informal practical skills; initiate activities to occupy all graduates of the academies; and to organize virtual banks (through telephone banks) for investment and growth. Core principles are; develop creative & practical trainings and employ all graduates; connect to all stakeholders as much as possible; provide efficient services at minimized costs; and equitably serve everyone. Operational strategies We provide mentoring services (psychosocial restoration & skills training) and build working capacity. We work with schools and Communities to recruit and establish income generating initiatives for all graduates respectively; providing direct services to communities. We mobilize resources with people to foster sustainable change. We mobilize communities to actively engage in planning, managing, monitoring and evaluating their activities to enhance their influence, participation and support. We work with other agencies such as police, judiciary and telephone networks; so that issues needing their attention are timely and effectively addressed without unnecessary duplication.

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

Other agencies exist and freely rehabilitate marginalized people. Training institutions also exist. This means that there is a competition for 'clients'. While others rehabilitate or train and end there, we go beyond rehabilitation and training. We envision empowering all trainees by creating with them paying activities; and making savings with them for further investment. This twining of free skills acquisition with payable community work; and having guided savings for reinvestment by uneducated marginalized people is our niche. Through a virtual bank, a saving and investment culture is developed. This is easy since all our employed graduates make a contribution, and part of it is principally theirs to reinvest. It has both a development and marketing strategy which others do not use.

Founding Story

I was orphaned early in a marginalized conflict area. I worked hard to gain formal education with a hope of getting a job. The misery and helpless state of similar others in my vicinity has been a continuous challenge in my life. After my undergraduate studies in 2004, I individually accommodated some in my small room. I was jobless (due white collar job oriented education) and life was very difficult for all of us. When I got a scholarship at Cambridge University, I saved part of it and bought a sewing machine for one of them to learn tailoring. On my return from Cambridge in 2007, I realized the importance of giving people practical skills. She even partly supported me since I was still unemployed. Since then, I informally mobilized similar others into nursery teachers and hair dressers; and formerly registered a hybrid company in 2009 to officially operate. However, they independently earn but do not save and invest for sustainability and growth, a gap the academy seeks to fill.
About You
African Community Team Support (ACTS)
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

African Community Team Support (ACTS)

Organization Country


Country where this project is creating social impact


Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Starting in my own village in Uganda, like-minded persons have been mobilized to support themselves and others as victims of displacement and marginalization. So far, three teams have been established and are operational. One of them is offering educational services (kindergarten care and primary education) to over 400 children in eastern Uganda. One operates a carpentry workshop and trains others in its neighborhood. Another is a farming association/team engaged in horticulture. Seven persons have been individually mentored and supported to initiate their own income generating activities and they are now independently surviving. Two of them are operating hair salons, one is a tailor in the city, three are nursery teachers and one is rearing chicken in a rural village. It is upon these initial efforts, that an empowerment academy is being launched to centrally coordinate the mentoring, teaming and virtual banking processes there and elsewhere.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Six (6) more community teams, (each with at least 7 entrepreneurial persons) are envisioned by the end of three years. Three of these teams will be in northern Uganda and others in other different countries. Also, by the end of three years, three empowerment academies (mentoring at least 50 entrepreneurs each per year) will be fully operational. In 3 years, team members in the initial teams will have accumulated substantial savings that can aid them to launch major investments in their areas of expertise. The virtual bank will have started rolling out its services to those outside the mentored teams or members, who exemplify their confidence in it.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Many societies have a begging mentality due to prolonged handouts, change of which is hard. They cannot think creatively especially in the face of marginalization. My own story of how I struggled to attain education after being orphaned at 8 years by peasant parents helps explain the possibility of changing destinies.
People fear to save on phones. Mentored members have confidence in the service and act as examples.
Also, men treat their wives like children in many communities. There are cases where married women’s wages are for men. Individual savings are hindered yet many fear speaking out. Teams now form a network to expose such abuses.
Corruption also exists. Registering teams to operate need bribing. As an anti-corruption activist, district officials easily expedite my cases.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Source and acquire resources (human, material and finance) for the first academy

Task 2

Identify and recruit the first cohort of trainees

Task 3

Start training the first cohort of trainees

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Identify and initiate work placements/activities for and with the first cohort

Task 2

Induct and deploy the first cohort thereby establishing 3 community teams

Task 3

Establish another empowerment academy (while activities of the first are ongoing) in the same order.

Tell us about your partnerships

We currently collaborate with global giving (UK) which link us to volunteers and aid in collecting and disbursing donations from well wishers worldwide. We also collaborate with religious organizations in Uganda who offer their premises for trainings and nursery school operations since building is costly. Others are government agencies such as police and local councils. I am also working with a group of friends in Germany who will be collecting and shipping relevant equipments such as saws and hair cutters for teams to train and use. We plan to register this group as a liaison link in Europe.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

While I aspire to mentor others, I need to network with others to be supported legally, financially or technologically to successfully operate say in other countries. Ideas are varied and getting insights of others' innovations is vital for me as they mentor me too. I am also willing to collaborate and share my coalition/team building skills, research work and ideas with others