Distinguished participants from government, UNDP, diplomatic corps, youth fraternity and the private sector after the launch of the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility

 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has 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; and enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

The Facility, anchored in the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is an integrated support package intended to act as a catalyst for innovation by enabling youth pilot and transform sustainable enterprise ideas and models with a commercial viability into impact at scale. This 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 Facility is also a forward-looking response to the impacts of COVID-19 on MSMEs. It offers MSMEs a pathway to build back better through 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. It also has the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem Platform which is intended to help entrepreneurs begin their journey by providing answers on the key concepts relevant to enterprise development and affording them the opportunity to acquire more knowledge about funding and specific information on how to implement innovations.

These interventions will be complemented with an enterprise development and corporate governance training package, and business development support for the youth-owned enterprises focused on access to markets, value addition, value chain integrations and increased resilience. It is envisaged that the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility will strengthen the capacity of the youth to engage in critical value chains in agriculture, in the digital economy and in tourism, re-awakening discourse on structural transformation through industrialization, and strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Uganda.

To implement the initiative, UNDP Uganda will initially partner with Stanbic Bank Uganda and affiliate entities to kick-start this unique and sustainable solution intended to accelerate progress towards attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Uganda.

The UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah

 

The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Elsie Attafuah, welcomed the facility saying, “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 fall-out. To this end, UNDP has initiated a Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility aimed at enabling young people work their way out of disadvantage and become contributors to economic growth”. 

 

Speaking at the event, Stanbic Bank Uganda’s Chief Executive Ms. Anne Juuko said, “We are proud to be in partnership with 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.”

“Stanbic will also be providing business financing and will match UNDP with $3 million for debt financing for the period of the initiative. All the businesses will be supported with setting up business accounts at the commencement of the initiative and as a result they will be pre-scored for short-term working capital,” Ms. Juuko added.

“Through this initiative Stanbic Bank is reaffirming its commitment to supporting the growth of SME’s and we shall continue putting in place key interventions through strategic partnerships such as this to enable sustainable SME growth and longevity.” She concluded.

R-L The UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah, Stanbic Bank CEO Ms. Anne Juuko sign to launch the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility
L-R Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and Hon. Nakiwala Kiyingi the State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs sign to launch the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility

 

The launch was preceded by a panel discussion on youth unemployment and business environment. It featured Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Nakiwala Kiyingi the State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs and H.E. Henk Jan Bakker, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Uganda. Others are; H.E. Hon. Kiema Kilonzo, High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Gideon Badagawa, the Executive Director Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, Ms. Lillian Aber, Chairperson of the National Youth Council, Ms. Attafuah and Ms. Juuko.

About UNDP Uganda

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustices of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

In Uganda, UNDP supports the Government to achieve sustainable development, create opportunities for empowerment, protect the environment, minimise natural and man-made disasters, build strategic partnerships and improve the quality of life for all citizens.

About Stanbic Bank Uganda

Stanbic Bank Uganda is a member of the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets with presence in 20 African countries. In Uganda, the Bank provides a full spectrum of financial services. Its Corporate and Investment Banking division serves a wide range of requirements for banking, finance, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services investment banking, global markets, and global transactional products and services.

Stanbic Bank Uganda’s Personal and Business Banking unit offers banking and other financial services to individuals and small-to-medium enterprises. This unit serves the increasing need among Africa’s small businesses and individual customers for banking products that can meet their shifting expectations and growing wealth.

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