On 7th, Tuesday, the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited launched a Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility designed to spur impact-driven entrepreneurship, foster innovation, and leverage business solutions to address the youth unemployment challenge in Uganda
The launch took place at Sky’s hotel Naguru where government officials and youth leaders attended. This innovation will partly address the market failure where financial institutions are reluctant to provide start-up capital to young entrepreneurs. A key feature of Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility is the use of blended finance as a risk-sharing mechanism to stimulate the development of innovative inclusive business ideas that otherwise would not have taken place within the private sector.
The youths will be offered MSMEs a pathway to building back better through the novel and sustainable solutions with a commercial imperative to address today’s complex and dynamic development challenges.
The Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility is a five-year initiative comprising of three interventions; namely, Innovation Challenge Fund and Growth Accelerator that provides competitive matching grants necessary to spur impact-driven innovation by the youth and MSMEs in sectors where growth leads to jobs and Enterprise Challenge Fund which provides competitive catalytic funding in form of blended finance as a means to incentivize financial institutions to provide longer-term debt financing to scale commercially viable innovations and business models – UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Elsie Attafuah said
The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Elsie Attafuah, “Today more than ever, governments, development institutions and the private sector need to take bolder steps and adopt innovative approaches to safeguard and create youth employment and livelihoods by enabling enterprises to emerge more resilient out of the COVID-19 economic fallout. To this end, UNDP has initiated a Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility aimed at enabling young people to work their way out of disadvantage and become contributors to economic growth” she added
Speaking at the event, Stanbic Bank Uganda’s Chief Executive Ms. Anne Juuko said, “We are proud to be in partnership UNDP in a critical initiative supporting young entrepreneurs. Stanbic Bank will play an instrumental role in this initiative through our Business Incubator, where young business entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to receive entrepreneurship training and development. The Stanbic Business Incubator will also drive the Innovation Challenge Fund and Growth Accelerator, Enterprise Challenge Fund and the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem Platform.”
“Through this initiative, Stanbic Bank is reaffirming its commitment to supporting the growth of SME’s and we shall continue to put in place key interventions through strategic partnerships such as this to enable sustainable SME growth and longevity.” She added.