“Why aren't people with business ideas and solutions pitching to people with the money?” was a question raised by Apollo Mbowa, Customer Financial Advisor, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Uganda, during the launch of the Ye! Rise program Uganda, in March.
Mbowa mooted the idea that NSSF wants to partner with the Ye! Community in Uganda, through engagement, using technology and digitalization.
“We are hoping that our entry into Ye! Community is not just about fulfilling our mandate, but to be of purpose,” said Mbowa.
We need a stroll of hungry entrepreneurs for us to be a funding platform, with ideas, said Mbowa, who also mentioned that UGX 14.5 Trillion is ‘seated’ somewhere at NSSF waiting to be invested in businesses.
NSSF has a wide range of opportunities that several youths can tap into. Follow the NSSF website for more information.
Pumping tough-love advice to entrepreneurs, Mbowa challenged youth to stop thinking that they were going to be youth forever.
He also warned them against becoming career beggars, but instead let their businesses attract investors by sharing their concepts with experts'. “Have 1% in your business that translates into billions,” advised Mbowa.
Mbowa challenges the youth entrepreneurs to respect the business process, hack it and enjoy it, adding that there is a failure and getting up. “Grow up! Being a youth is not an excuse. Businesses require maturity of mind. That is what will make your story,” he said.
The Customer Financial Advisor advised entrepreneurs to plan for their retirement because when to retire is not an age but an amount.
In her remarks, the Ye! ITC Ambassador Uganda, Aisha Ali, divulged that starting a business is like planting something. Entrepreneurs should invest time, energy and effort. Aisha added that in the entrepreneurship world, “we don't see the results immediately while starting a business.”
Several ideas were raised from the audience like lack of management skills, copycats, the economic environment, lack of finances, which is one of the reasons businesses fail, lack of systems, emotions, and failure to get the right market.
Bob Oganga, the Venture Development Associate at Outbox Uganda, which is the anchor partner of the Ye! Community in Uganda raised the commitment of Outbox, saying that Outbox was ready to walk the journey with entrepreneurs, to make their businesses bankable and sustainable over time.
“We have many businesses under the Ye! Community in Uganda and these businesses should be able to make money,” he said.
Bragging about the size of Outbox in the innovation and incubation space, Bob indicated that there is a lot in store for entrepreneurs because Outbox has a pool of industry experts offering mentorship support to businesses in the Outbox community. He also mentioned that Outbox has at least five (5) innovation champions in every district who are building Outbox Fundi Circles, a community of innovators.
Sandra Letil, former Ambassador Ye! ITC Uganda advised entrepreneurs to seek guidance from people who have gone through the business journey and mentorship from the Ye! ITC Community in Uganda.
“We are ready to mentor and accord you all the support that you would like through your entrepreneurship journey, by bringing you closer to networks and markets for your products,” Oganga pledged.
“We are on a mission of grooming entrepreneurs who can run their businesses while creating employment,” said Mbowa who added that the fund is ready to work tooth and nail to see to it that entrepreneurs tap into opportunities with NSSFand other funders until NSSF’s goal is achieved.
In conclusion, entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted!” Aisha exclaimed.
Benefits of the Ye! Rise Community to entrepreneurs in Uganda
Entrepreneurs will be able to get;
Access to network opportunities from fellow youth entrepreneurs, and industry experts
Mentorship From business experts
Free business training for masterclasses
Digital literacy and access to E-learning tools
How to join the community
Reach out to our Innovation champions countrywide
Engage our regional field staff who will be able to support you
Follow our social media pages
Come to outbox and we will help you
We are ready to walk the long journey with you.
The Ye! Rise Program will offer 3 training sessions, with some being physical and others online.
May Masterclasses include
Building a team (Assessing employee needs; Who, How & When to Hire; Delegation & Motivating your team)
Legal dynamics (Company registration; Legal requirements; Tax compliance & Governance structure)
June Masterclasses include
Customer Relationship Management (Customer persona; Customer needs; Customer acquisition & retention with a focus on marketing)
July Masterclasses include
Financial Management (Financial Literacy; Financial Cash Flows and Financial Projections)
You can sign up to Join here
Written by Tracy Gwambe