West Nile firm wins Shs20m Covid startup package

Winners receive a Shs20m dummy cheque  from  the judges at media challenge initiative in Kabalagala, Kampala, last Friday. PHOTO/ KARIM MUYOMBO

What you need to know:

  • The innovation challenge sought to promote leadership and early childhood development.

West Nile Private Sector Development Promotion Centre Ltd (WENIPS) has won Shs20m in an innovation challenge staged to help innovators get start-up capital after the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was after they beat other 36 innovators to the prize in a competition organised by Aga Khan Foundation and European Union 

The Covid-19 response challenge was held in Kabalagala, Kampala, on Friday.

The money will be used in soap making, soya processing and for the loan saving scheme.

While handing over the cash, Ms Amelia Biira, the administrator at Early Years Foundation, said: “The money is meant to help winners (West Nile Private Sector) to scale up their small enterprise on businesses, the business must be related to children.”

She added: “West Nile Private Sector will be at the helm of contributing to solutions and training parents in two early child development centres in soap making, soya processing and village saving and large association.”

She further revealed that 18 of the 36 innovators will also be given funds basing on their different ideas.

Mr Jenaro Puring Onegi, the chief executive officer at WENIPS said:  “ The organisation will use the Shs20m to turn around one of four ECD [early childhood development] centres that we initiated with our saving group in Nebbi District. ECDs had been centres of excellence until Covid-19 pandemic hit. Parents, especially single mothers, began to fail paying fees and children attendance reduced by more than 50 percent, so ECDs are grappling with high drop out rates.”

The other innovators who took part in the challenge include LALA Day Care, Ghetto Research LAB and Friends Microfinance.

The innovation challenge sought to promote leadership and early childhood development.

Ahead of the final innovation challenge, innovators had to pitch their different innovative ideas and projects on how best to improve on the early child development before a panel of four judges.

Early childhood development focuses on young children’s overall wellbeing during early years, which provides the foundation for the development of women and men who are  productive.