Focus on entrepreneurship

Saturday January 13 2018

Promoting skills. Hands-on skills such as

Promoting skills. Hands-on skills such as tailoring and welding, among others, should be promoted to assist in the reduction of youth unemployment. 

By GILLIAN NANTUME

In a few days’ time, more than 10,000 students will graduate from Makerere University and its affiliate institutions.
The question though is, where will all this priceless human resource find jobs?
More than 400,000 graduates are released on the job market annually but the surprise though is, majority of these have no skills to allow them create their own jobs.
However, even those that have the skills look at employment as the first priority. Therefore, there is need for a mindset change and this can only be achieved through continuous engagement.
This is why stakeholders such as Action for Liberty and Economic Development (ALED) believes there is need to open up the minds of youth towards entrepreneurship.

An entrepreneur must have a plan
At the recent innovations conference organised by ALED in Entebbe, Kenneth Tumusiime, a lecturer at Mbabara University of Technology and chairman of Plawaste Recycling Company, said youth must begin to determine what they want to be in the future without looking at being employed.
“I was 21 years and studying Urban Planning when I decided that I wanted to be involved in waste management,” he says, advising that youth must avoid getting involved in a business they know nothing about.
“I did research in my interest and I [gone on to attain] two masters degrees in waste management,” he says.

One of the biggest challenges to opening up a business is globalisation, which as Uhuru Sserubiri, managing director of Amir Cabra Rabbit Farm, says entrepreneurs must have a global outlook while starting business.
“Why would someone give you a job to do over the course of a month when there are global companies which can get the job done in three days? Technology has leveled the ground for us to compete and the biggest marketing tool you can have is social media. It has given small companies the space to compete. With only $10 (about Shs36,000) one can boost their advertisements on social media.”

It is all about the mindset
John Chisholm, the founder of two high-tech companies, Decisive Technology (now part of Google) and CustomerSat (now part of Confirmit), was the guest speaker at the entrepreneurship conference.
Chisholm, who is the chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based John Chisholm Ventures, has wide knowledge in entrepreneurship and to him an “ideal company for you [youth] to start is unique to you and it has to be discovered by you”.

“No one is going to come and tell you what kind of company you need to start. A positive mindset is the key ,” he says.
Talking about how his first company almost went under because of the internet bubble in 1999, he said his company survived because he cared deeply about all aspects of the business and persevered more than others did.
“You have to find, nurture, and ride on positive feedback. Do not look down on yourself because you have at your disposal the skills, technologies, assets, relationships, achievements, and strengths to help you survive in business. You just have to discover them.”

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