KAMPALA, Uganda – The Connect to Implement Development project’s (C2iDev) 10-week training session for Uganda’s 27 entrepreneurs began 13 April 2015. It promised to capitalize ideas and spread optimism.
Business expansion training came from the Business Development Center Uganda (BDC), which partnered with C2iDev. The session was located in Kampala, where 10 entrepreneurs were later given a chance to pitch their business and win capital.
C2iDev won recognition by the World Bank Group’s 2015 Youth Innovation Fund to provide development opportunities for entrepreneurs. Africa’s youth outnumbers all other continents and is expected to grow from 200 million to 330 million by 2034.
This accounts for the ages between 15 and 24. As the population rate increases, so does the unemployment rate.
Uganda carries the highest rate of unemployed youth. This is about 53 percent, whereas the average for Sub-Saharan African youth is 43.2 percent. Right now, 64 percent of those without jobs are aged 24 and under.
The cycle of poverty begins when entrepreneurs cannot expand their businesses. There needs to be a creation of 600 million more jobs in the next 10 years to sustain a quality workforce. Currently, GDP per capita is less than $10 per day in 75 countries. Only over 1 percent of entrepreneurs rise from poverty.
About 85 percent of the Global GDP is made outside the U.S where entrepreneurs create 90 percent of new jobs.
Zac Acs, the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy at George Mason University, says that “entrepreneurship is something that creates wealth and is scalable” but developing countries do not have enough entrepreneurship. They have small farms and self-employment methods.
One reason why Acs may be right is because of culture. With little support from hard working families, how can innovative ideas be scavenged and appropriately funded?
The young innovators involved with C2iDev come from various large funders. This includes the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
The purpose of C2iDev is to invest in innovative ideas focusing on equal income and equal gender immersion in developing populations. It uses entrepreneurs as a solution to the unemployment problem and, thus, the poverty crisis.
This is the ultimate goal for C2iDev. With a chance at a sustainable income and beneficial results in communities, some entrepreneurs launch the same long-term agenda.
Take Alain Nteff as an example. At the age of 20, he addressed the mortality rate of newborns and pregnant women. He made an app to help women and healthcare workers predict birthdates. His success has seen 500 downloads that have positively affected 1,200 women in Cameroon.
There was a 20 percent increase in attendance during birth in 15 rural locations. Nteff’s plan is to reach 50,000 women by the end of 2015. Hopefully, 5 million can be assisted throughout Africa by 2017.
This entrepreneur earned recognition by Forbes Africa. His future goals are fathomable as someone who has achieved the first challenge: Aim, commit, and succeed. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
To make an idea real and effective, the planner must be skeptical, consistent, and daring. When approaching a long-term goal, failures are not failures. New directives are revealed instead.
Keeping goals general, yet challenging kindles original innovative results. When trying to achieve a goal, ethics, self-regulation, creative insight, sheer practice, and, above all, support will bring in success. Opportunity came to 27 entrepreneurs who needed support. They were ready to do some convincing.
These entrepreneurs underwent instruction involving business concepts, marketing analysis, financial planning, and business plan development. Once they pitched their business plans to professionals, bankers, and consultants, the 10 top winners were selected.
The first place business idea belongs to a company called Buqisi-Ruux that is also known as “Queen of the Village”. It is an African print shoe business that focuses on designs for high heels made from African fabrics. The business received $1,000 in funding.
Second and third place were given to a peanut butter manufacturing company and a bag firm. Their goals were to provide local products. They won $700 to $800 each. The other seven were each provided $500, which includes a 3D animation marketing service and shop for IT solutions.
The three final projects were obliged to mentor rural communities in order to stem growth and establish better marketing practices. C2iDev hopes to encourage new startups with this requirement.
– Katie Groe