Opportunities for social business entrepreneurs

James Onapa is an owner of a restaurant in Kataza, near Makerere University Business School. He has been running this restaurant for close to two years now. Onapa’s aspiration is to multiply his business by solving a concurrent problem in the society – hunger.

He is part of the wider group of social entrepreneurs being targeted by Yunus Social Business Foundation Uganda (YSB), a tailor made program designed for social entrepreneurs in the early or growing stages of their businesses.
A social business is a formal entity created with a purpose of solving a social problem.

Yunus has launched an accelerator campaign for entrepreneurs searching for financially viable ways of producing and delivering products and services that bring social change and demonstrate models for scaling within their communities or replication elsewhere.

“This launch follows a successful pilot phase which was implemented with the African Development Bank (AfDB) that lasted for nearly two years, The launch also builds on Yunus Social Business’s global experience in other countries, including Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Columbia, Haiti, India and Tunisia.

Mr. Kizza Eriab, the Executive Director – Yunus Social Business Uganda says the accelerator in Uganda will enable entrepreneurs to develop business and personal skills, build networks and create innovative business solutions to solve social challenges.

“Our teams will help them to fast-track their ideas to the next level through coaching, access to experts and mentors, piloting support and trainings on key business skills.”

He also explained that the Accelerator will offer a 3-month program, where 15 selected participants will attend workshops tailored to their business’ needs, such as “developing your sales pitch or enhancing your leadership skills.
You will have sessions with inspiring entrepreneurs as well as experts in leadership and business acumen,”

After the training, the most promising social businesses will get the opportunity to pitch to a panel of investment Committee, and potentially receive funding ranging from USD 50,000-350,000 (150m-10.5billion). They will be able to pitch to other potential funders during demo day.

Daniel Bukenya Yiga, the head of Acceleration and Investment said YSB Uganda will accept applications from any sector if they can demonstrate a strong social impact and financial self-sustainability, and will focus in particular on supporting social entrepreneurs actively engaged in the following sectors considered to have high potential for generating impact such as Agribusiness -Commercialization of agricultural products and promotion of value addition to agricultural products, Renewable energy and clean environment: Mini power generation plants, biogas, biomass, energy-saving devices for lighting, cooking or preservation, waste recycling, tertiary businesses associated with gas oil and gas, Education, human resource development and community libraries: Skills development and technology transfer institutes targeting the youth and other marginalized groups, and Health and nutrition.

How to apply

The applications portal will be open from 1st of April 2015 to 28th of April 2015. All intending applicants are requested to apply online on their web portal.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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