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
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone