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Wakiso Youth Business Platform

The Wakiso 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.

Wakiso Youth Business Platform ongoing

Key Objectives of the Business Platform were:

  • Access for youth to relevant knowledge/skills in areas of interest.
  • Access to market opportunities; 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 relevant to the youth.
Young Entrepreneur signing-up to attend the event

Wakiso Business Platform Overview: The Wakiso Youth Business Platform was held on Friday 10th January, 2020 from 9:30am to 3:00pm at Wakissha Resource Center, Conference Hall.  The event involved the participation of the various stakeholders both public and private, including the local banks and financial service providers, local youth and various local business community players.

EVENT OUTPUTS:

The platform event was attended by 301 young people in attendance

1)Access to relevant knowledge/skills through training                                                                                           

Two (2) business training sessions were conducted. These included:

Fiona Nambaziira sharing Business Management tips
  1. Business Management & Entrepreneur Mindset by Fiona Nambaziira Luswata a business consultant and Operations Director of Network of Women in Agribusiness and Development (NoWAD) is a social enterprise founded and registered in Uganda with the aim of empowering women as agents of positive change in development.
Aloysius Ssemanda sharing Financial management tips with the participants
  1. Financial Management Best practices by Aloysius Ssemanda a financial consultant, lecturer and former managing director of Celtel Uganda.

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

2)Access to Farm Inputs and farming Technical Advice; The platform was attended by agronomists to provide one on one agricultural advisory support from

  • Osho chemicals technical support team-Shared both materials and offered one on one advise on overcoming plant pests and diseases.
  • Wakiso District Farmers Association-Made available farming books and also shared various farming inputs, seedlings and green technologies.

2)Access to Support and Training Advice

The speakers and various partner construction companies were available to provide business advise as well as technical on construction. These included:

  • Business consultant-Fiona Luswata-was available to interact to follow-up questions
  • Hall mark construction company:
  • Kandy Construction company
  • World Host Construction company
  • Hallmark Painting and Construction Company

3)Exhibition of local technologies and products

Exhibition booth of Wakiso District Farmers Association

There was a variety of exhibitors from different sectors mainly in construction, agribusiness and agro-processing. These included:

  1. Mpunga Wakiso Youth Concrete products (CBO): make different types of products out of concrete suck as; bricks, pavers, fencing poles, ventilators, culverts
  2. Safaricom wakiso phone doctors: providing phone repair services
  3. Wakiso District Farmers Association: Exhibited yoghurt, wine, seedlings and books on farming
  4. Kick Start youth network: Exhibited green technologies which included energy saving stoves and brickets.
  5. Treasures Bakery: Exhibited baked products and pastries.
  6. Amazing Catering Services: Showcased their hospitality and culinary skills by selling freshly cooked food, snacks and juices.
  7. Osho Chemical Industries: Showcased farm inputs, seed and chemicals.
  8. Rosiana Catering Service: sold freshly cooked chapatis, cupcakes, juice   

4) Access to Markets: The exhibitors of the platform were also able to make sales of their products/services during the platform as per below:

  • Wakiso District Farmers Association: Made sales of yoghurt, wine and books totaling to 60,000/=
  • Treasures Bakery:  Made sales:20,000/=
  • Amazing Catering Services: Made sales of food products of 150000/=
  • Together we can: Made sales of five pieces of yoghurt bottles for 10,000/=
  • Rosiana Catering Service made sales of chapatis and samosas and other products totaling 70,000/=
  • Osho Chemical Industries: Made sales of input seeds of 25,000/=

5) Local Government Participation

The participation of local government led by the Wakiso District Planner Mr. Paddy Galabuzi was significant. He shared various opportunities for youth to pursue as well as some of the opportunities that government is working on to empower and create for the youth.

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 referrals – The 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 current – In 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 solving – The 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 experience – The 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 morale – Most 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 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.

ii. 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.

iii. 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

  • The participants did not attend on time. Hence the event started about 40minutes late.
  • The MC accommodated more questions which eventually affected the schedule in the program.
  • The hospitality team came almost very end of the event hence limited potential sales.
  • The banks did not heed invitation apart from finance trust bank hence limited financial services were provided.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • There is need to communicate to relevant stakeholders early for adequate preparation and attendance.\
  • The platform should consider setting up a platform tax/margin i.e. for every product sold on the platform a small fee is added as contribution to the platform. Alternatively the exhibitors can pay an acceptable fee to exhibit.
  • 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.
  • The speakers need to be prevailed on time keeping to ensure the program is followed.


QUOTES FROM PARTICIPANTS

Osho Chemical Industries (Isma Bwire)

The event was good and what I liked most was the networking opportunities available in the event.

Mpunga wakiso youth concrete products (Mr. Kasusse Ashiraf)

“The event was very good because I was able to learn how to run my business from the speakers and also got a client who is a company in names Victor constructions who has promised to be buying some our products.”

Rosiana Catering Service (Ms. Selunjoji Annet) “The youth plaftform has helped learn both from the presenters and fellow exhibitors and was generally good for all of us

My advice is that exhibitors should be put in the same location/tent for easy recognition by the visitors.”

Together we can (Kikomeko Idi) 0788151768

“The event was fine because it has helped people recognize us the small companies and the knowledge share by the speakers is really valuable for our business and the people have seen our products.”

Amazing Catering Services (Kizito William) 0754554568

“It has been marvelous and fantastic because I was able receive guidance for startups like my company.”

Treasures Bakery (Nambatya Angela. 0703068431 & Nassozi Phiona 0704760146) 

“The event was good and my favorite was learning the healthy business practices such as investing and saving.”

Kick Start youth network (Odama Herbert 0706606307 & Mirembe Monica 0751875935)

“The event teaching was fine but the exhibition was not because I was given stand very far from my fellow exhibitors and people managing the event didn’t encourage the youth and other speakers to visit our stand”

Wakiso District Farmers Association (Sebaduka Benjamin 0751666017) 

“The event has not been bad because it is an eye opener for the youth in business and though who want to start up their own business. To as the exhibitors it has been a linkage for more business opportunities”

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