Friday July 18 2014

NBL begins search for genius entrepreneurs

PSFU’s Moses Ogwal Goli, NBL’s Ekomolit,

PSFU’s Moses Ogwal Goli, NBL’s Ekomolit, Enterprise Uganda’s Mr Ocici, and Moringa CEO Case at the launch of KickStart this week. PHOTO BY DOMINIC BUKENYA 

By Caesar Abangirah

Jerome Mwebaze graduated two years ago. The IT graduate has, however, failed to find employment even after several months of job hunting.
Three weeks ago, together with another colleague from university, the two started making cooking baskets in the garage of his father’s house in Makindye, Kampala.
According to Mwebaze, the baskets, which are filled with cotton/mattress insulating material that is covered with black polythene, are a local version of electric warmers.
They don’t only cook food but also keep it hot for hours.
They have, however, already faced challenges like lack of market and funds to produce more baskets. They have so far made several baskets in three weeks.
“Our goal is to also improve the basket so that it can be exported but we still lack the skills,” Mr Mwebaze told to Jobs and Career.
However, the story of these two young men is set to change with Nile Breweries Limited’s Kick Start programme that is aimed at identifying young Ugandans with genius entrepreneurship ideas that can enrich themselves and transform society.
The programmne, launched early this week, follows a competition model and provides budding youth entrepreneurs with training, mentoring and start up grants.
It aims at inculcating a culture of entrepreneurship among youth, by providing intensive business skills training, business development support and providing grants.
“The competition is a unique opportunity for Ugandan youth entrepreneurs to develop their entrepreneurial skills and have an opportunity to better their livelihoods,” Onapito Ekomoloit, the Corporate Affairs Director of Nile Breweries said.
Kick Start, according to Mr Ekomloit, is inspired by the successes of the model in other SABMiller markets, such South Africa and Botswana, where it is has kick started businesses that are employing thousands of youth.

The judges
The recruitment phase for Kick Start will involve 20 top entrants being selected by an independent panel of judges, including Ms Barbara Mulwana, the executive director, Nice House of Plastics; Mr Charles Ocici, the executive director Enterprise Uganda; Mr David Case, CEO Moringa Ltd and Mr James Ebitu, national programme manager, Youth Livelihood Programme, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
“The 20 entrants selected at the first stage will then provided with intensive business skills training over a period of time” said Ocici, the Executive Director Enterprise Uganda.
Winners will undergo a full-time training.
“We call upon all eligible youths, especially those from the rural areas, to submit their business proposals. Applications will close on July 25 and can be submitted online,” said Ms Sumin Namaganda, the Co-ordinator of the programme. “We encourage the participating entrepreneur to manage their time effectively to ensure that their business does not suffer as a result of their absence,” she added.