This past week, Ye! traveled to Uganda for the Ye! Uganda Summit. This was the Ye! Uganda Local Chapter's second annual 100% youth-organized and youth-focused entrepreneurship event.
The Ye! Uganda Summit took place on the 23 & 24th of August 2018. The who’s who of young entrepreneurs in Uganda were present for this youth-led event. Didn’t make it? Don’t worry, we have all the news on the panel discussions, break-out sessions, and awards which were presented over the course of the two-day summit.
The Ye! Summit was attended by more than 140 young entrepreneurs. On the first day, opening speeches were offered by the President of Makerere University Business School, Professor Waswa Balunwya, the Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre, Diana Ntamu, and Ye! Community Communications Director, Liina Liblik from the Ye! Secretariat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Presentations were followed by a youth-led panel discussion. Some of the top young entrepreneurs from across Uganda spoke about their experiences and how they have achieved success. Panelists included:
Zilla Maree Arach – Co-Founder & Director, Akorion
Kenneth Twesigye –Founder TECH Buzz Hub
Lucinda Mary Athieno – Founder & Director, Eco pads
Yunus Masaba – Founder & Managing Director, Mas Group of Companies
Each panelist came with their own unique perspective and suggestions based on their experiences in business. This panel exemplified that success takes hard work, and at times the challenges along the way may seem overwhelming, but if you can leverage a strong network, find a trusted mentor, and implement strong internal processes, then you can pave a path to growth.
Following the youth panel, attendees took part in various break-out sessions on the following topics:
- Building Strong Business Systems
- Digital Marketing
- Business Financing
Each session focused on a topic recommended by young entrepreneurs from within the community. This, again, exemplified that youth were not only the organizers of the event, but that youth were consulted in the creation of the agenda for the event. By giving their input on the focus areas and session topics that would most assist them in operating their enterprises youth attendees got the most out of the summit.
Outstanding Entrepreneurs Took to the Stage in Uganda
The Ye! Uganda Summit also featured an award for the Ye! Uganda - Young Entrepreneur 2018. This award served to showcase the work of exceptional young entrepreneurs working in Uganda and the need for greater support by the government. You can read more about each of the 6 finalists here.
Eeach of the 6 finalists were given just three minutes to present their enterprises. These presentations provided an opportunity for each to make their final pitch to the esteemed Jury before the winner was announced.
The Jury in charge of making such a tough decision included the following members:
Roy Masiga W Gakuo - Managing Director, Imuka Ventures
Sarah Kyejjusa - Senior Lecturer, Makerere University Business School
Veronica Namwanje - Executive Director, Uganda Small Scale Industries Association
Diana Ntamu - Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Makerere University Business School
Madeleine Smith – Communications and Fundraising Specialist, Imuka Ventures
And the winner is…
Juliet Namujju took home the top prize for her business Kimuli Fashionability. The enterprise was awarded for its high social impact and innovative business idea. Juliet, alongside the other 5 finalists, will be offered incubation from Makerere University Business School. The Ye! Community will also connect Juliet and her team to an expert mentor from within the Ye! Community coaching network.
Juliet and her team were surprised by special guest and respected entrepreneur, Mrs. Amina Hersi, founder of Kingstone Enterprises, who joined the Ye! Uganda Summit to present the award. Mrs. Amina Hersi presented Juliet and her team with a cash gift.
Honouring Sandra Letio - Ye! Community Ambassador for Uganda
Sandra Letio, the Ye! Community Ambassador for Uganda has been a force to be reckoned with in Uganda since she took on the role of Ye! Ambassador. Sandra has built the Ye! Local Chapter into a thriving network of young entrepreneurs who support one another with information about financing opportunities, business tools, resources and access to networks. The Ye! Community Secretariat presented Sandra with an award for her unrelenting work to support her fellow youth entrepreneurs as the Ye! Community Ambassador.
The Ye! Local Chapter in Uganda will continue to work closely with the Summit partners including, UN Women Uganda, the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, Pelere Group Limited, Kafeero Foundation, Enterprise Uganda, I Profile, Ziimart, and Makerere University Business School to strengthen the ecosystem in Uganda. They will also continue to engage with the government to ensure youth are consulted in the creation of policies and programs on youth entrepreneurship. Watch this space!