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Jinja Youth Business Platform

The Jinja Youth Business Platform initiative is pioneered by Swisscontact U-learn phase 2 towards enabling the young people gain knowledge, share their experiences, opportunities, best practices and benefit from the networking opportunities within. The platform encourages inclusive participation of young people to tap into various opportunities that result into employment or sustainable livelihood opportunity. The platform allows the youth to connect to a broader range of people, stakeholders and networks.

Emmanuel Mukasa(Business Associate) of Ci’Sand Suites, sharing Business Management tips

Key Objectives of the Business Platform were:

  • Access for youthtorelevant knowledge/skills in areas of interest.
  • Access to market; connection to markets for their products and services.
  • Access to locally available skills and technologies as exhibited in the business platform. Exhibition of relevant local techniques and technologies to promote successful practices
  • Peer to peer connections, experience sharing and learning.
  • Access business advisory: to provide business advisory support to one on one or group of participants depending on area of interest.
  • Access to Youth Support Organizations with relevant services or opportunities: to share opportunities relevant to the youth.

Jinja Business Platform Overview:

The Jinja Youth Business Platform was held on Friday, 29th November, 2019 from 10.00am at the District County Hall. The event involved the participation of the various stakeholders both public represented by the local government which included the CAO (Chief Administration Officer) Mr. Kitakule Nathan and private sector including local banks and financial service providers, local youth and various local business community players.

Participants paying attention to an on-going session

EVENT OUTPUTS:

Attendants 210: Total number of attendees/participants 210 people in attendance

1)Access to knowledge and skills

Three(3) training sessions were conducted as per below:

  1. Entrepreneurial Mindset by Kevin Asinde the founder and CEO of Amarin Financial Group. She emphasized on having a resilient focused mind to succeed in Entrepreneurship.
    1. Business management Best practices by Mukasa Peter Emmanuel – Operations Manager-Ci’sand Suites-Jinja. He shared is journey in business as founder of 3 restaurants but also as an operations manager of an existing high-end hotel in Jinja. He emphasized in humility and curiosity in learning, and determination to grow towards your vision.
    1. Financial Management Best Practices by Homdan King Ngobi – Operations Manager-Bank of Africa. He shared on various aspects including: Cash flow Management, importance of record keeping, budgeting and saving.
Participants during an Ice-breaker session

The trainings were localized and participatory to ensure that all the youth benefitted from the sessions.

2)Access to Information on Opportunities

Over 10 different local opportunities were shared with the youth by both the public and private sector. These included:

  • Piggery Farming Opportunities by Butagaya youth Association represented by Mpaya Gerald shared opportunities in Piggery Farming.
  • Poultry Farming Opportunities by Buwenge youth Association represented by Mukisa Mathias who shared variousopportunities in poultry farming.
  • Cakes and reusable pads skilling Opportunity by Madam Rose Kagomathe Cake Castle director. She shared skilling opportunities from those interested in either cakes or reusable pads.
  • Fish farming opportunities by Masese cage fish cooperative society represented by Michael Walugada who shared opportunities in Fish Farming.
  • Construction Opportunities-
    • Kim Construction and Joinery represented by Boger Stephen shared various construction opportunities.
    • Miiro Patrick Electrical and construction company shared various relevant construction and electrical service opportunities
  • Hospitality Opportunities by Ci’ Sand and Suites represented by Emmanuel MukasaOffered free training and employment for youths interested in Hospitality industry
  • Local Government Opportunities by the District Youth Chairman, Ayubu Iguru shared various relevant youth focused opportunities by the local government
  • Financial service Opportunities
    • Stanbic Bank-shared various products and services relevant for the youth
    • Bank of Africa-shared various products and services relevant for the youth
  • Micro-entrepreneurship Opportunities in WASH by Spouts of water, who manage the Purifaaya water filters-Shared various micro-entrepreneurial opportunities for marketing and distribution opportunities for youth interested in their products as community agents

3)Peer to peer sharing and learning:

The participants attending the event had various opportunities to share and learn from each others experiences especially during the training session breaks and during the side activities. The speakers(trainers) used interactive activities to allow engagements amongst the participants.

4)Exhibition of local technologies and products

We had 2 exhibitors which included cakes castle who were selling their snacks as well as spouts of water the owners of the purifaaya water filters.

5)Access to Financial services

3 local banks were present. These included Stanbic Bank, DFCU, and Bank of Africa. However only Stanbic bank and Bank of Africa actively shared the various services, products and opportunities they have for the youth.

Local Government Participation The participation of th elocal government was significant with the presence of the District CAO (Chief Administration Officer) Mr. Kitakule Nathan. Other local government officials included: DCDO (District Community Development Officer), District Production Officer, District Fishery officer amongst others. The local government was keen to encourage the youth to follow up on various opportunities made available in their respective departments.

PLATFORM IMPACT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

  1. Impact of Platform to a Business:

The platform is expected to deliver great impact to businesses. It helps them to reach more clients, gain knowledge, attain business growth and eventually increase profits. Specifically, businesses benefit from the platform by

Getting new contacts and referralsThe platform benefits businesses by enabling them to meet potential clients and/or generate referrals which can then follow up to become customers. The platform networking also helps business owners identify opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures, or new areas of expansion for the business.

Staying currentIn an ever-changing business climate it is important to keep up with the target market conditions as well as overall trends in your industry. The platform provides the avenue for a business to stay current.

Problem solvingThe platform often provides solutions to business problems due to the opportunity to access advisory support but also meeting more experienced people in areas of practice.

Sharing knowledge and experienceThe platform is ideal for expanding business owner’s knowledge by taking advantage of the viewpoints and prior experience of others.

Advice-: the platform provides opportunity for the business owner to meet people who will give advice on various matters that would help in improving the business.

Confidence and moraleMost business people are optimistic and positive. Regularly associating with such people can be a great morale boost, particularly in the difficult early phases of a new business. This allow positive influence.

Opportunities: The platform provides for various opportunities including: information, markets, partnership, client leads, joint ventures among others.

Raising business profile: the platform provides opportunities for the business to get noticed and be visible. This helps build a reputation for the business.

  1. Platform Impact on Inclusion:

The platform allows inclusive access to skills, networks and information, especially for the vulnerable youth in rural communities who are largely excluded hence making it easier for them to transform socially and economically to overcome poverty.

The platform approach of using both digital and physical models helps reduce “digital divides” between technology-empowered and technology-excluded communities, since they will be able to connect to the various opportunities during the platform meet-ups.

The platform strengthens youth’s participation in the economic development and working capacity hence making them a productive members of the community. This helps in reducing unemployment, poverty, people’s lack of prospects and deprivation ensuring social security and basic services.

  1. PPP-Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Community Development

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have become a vehicle to deliver products and services to the community. The physical platform allows the public administration to play a major role in partnerships establishing and operating with different community actors aiming at solving specific community problems. In the process of collaborating with other partners in the social economy, allows access to complementary resources, and increases in the credibility and public image of the partners, as well as the social benefit.

The public’s sector’s contribution of public facilities as venues and their mobilization support allows goodwill of the community in participating on the platform.

CHALLENGES/LIMITATIONS

  • Limited number of exhibitors participated, limited the expected platform experience.
  • The MC was not as charismatic and interactive as required in the youth business platform.
  • The hygiene of the toilet/washrooms was not good, hence making users vulnerable.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • There should be more emphasis to potential exhibitors to participate and showcase their products and services on the platform.
  • All individuals and organizations that are keen make an announcement or share fliers should make a voluntary contribution towards the platform. Alternatively, they can pay an acceptable fee for their announcements at the platform.
  • The local team and MC should be briefed on the flow and taken through a rehearsal of the key activities for better understanding and implementation a day before the main platform.
  • The need to support the next steps of the platform in developing on-ground systems and structure to ensure sustainable and convenient access of relevant, information, networks and opportunities.
  • Pursuing sector specific trainings and support activities during the interim. For example, trainings for hospitality, construction can be done independently at convenient locations.
  • Efforts to improve hygiene of the toilets and washrooms should be emphasized.
  • More youths representatives from the community should be involved in coordinating the different activities during the physical.

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