Demystifying Youth Entrepreneurship Capacity Building

Making Cents International

In late July, Making Cents International’s Collaborative Learning and Action Institute (Co-Lab) co-hosted a webinar with the Enterprise Uganda Foundation (EUF). A virtual full-house of attendees joined a lively discussion with presenters Chalres Ocici and Charles George Oumo of EUF. The webinar focused on EUF’s Business and Enterprise Setup Tool, or BEST, which is successfully improving and expanding youth job creation, workforce development, employability and entrepreneurship in Uganda.

Rather than presenting the format and content of the tool, the presenters focused on what makes their tool successful. Participants in the webinar increased their understanding of mental barriers and negative attitudes towards youth entrepreneurship. EUF outlined five primary barriers:

1.      Misunderstanding of the purpose of education: Education is most often viewed narrowly as a means to getting an office job.

2.      Public opinion and stigma: These include misconceptions about education level and business ownership and family and peer pressure to not work in certain sectors

3.      Start-up Capital: Most people look for external financing, when there are six other sources of financing available

4.      Business Planning: Business plans tend to get over-blown and over-detailed – don’t discourage new business owners by requiring too much. Don’t make business planning be a barrier, but a key to enter the market.

5.      Attitude and Mindset Change: Fear of failure is a huge barrier to potential entrepreneurs; outline the risks in a clear way so that it is easy to evaluate odds for success. A winning mindset is achieve through repeated positive actions.

The presenters went on to discuss the philosophy behind BEST, and how to implement and evaluate youth entrepreneurship programs based on the BEST model. Around 70%  of EUF’s trainees start a business within 90 days – a very impressive feat. It’s not however, too complicated, says Ocici. “If your brain works, this tool will work.”

If you’re interested in more details, please watch the one hour video recording of the webinar.