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Is Entrepreneurship in Uganda Thriving?

Entrepreneurship in Uganda is definitely on the rise. The transition from traditional career paths to the increasing number of young people embracing entrepreneurship as a practical career choice is a positive sign of growth. The government’s support and recognition of the importance of entrepreneurship, as seen through various programs and initiatives, have also contributed to this upward trend. With more entrepreneurship centers and opportunities being made available, it’s clear that the country is moving towards a more entrepreneurial mindset.

We sat down with Aloysious Kisitu Musanyusa, People Operations Lead at Jangu International to hear his thoughts on the state of entrepreneurship in Uganda.

Tell us more about Jangu International.
Absolutely! Our main goal is to address the shortcomings of the education system by creating an environment that fosters self-confidence. Additionally, we strive to empower individuals to find innovative solutions to societal issues. Moreover, we aim to uplift communities by harnessing the talents of young people, utilising their potential to tackle local challenges, and ultimately bringing about long-lasting transformation.

Our organization is deeply rooted in the value of community. We envision a society that functions like a close-knit family, where individuals support and uplift one another. Innovation is another key value we hold dear, as it allows us to push boundaries and create new opportunities for both the youth and the community at large. Growth and development are also fundamental to us, not just for the youth we serve, but for everyone involved – from facilitators to scholars to employees. We believe that growth should be a continuous process that encompasses all aspects of our organization.

Teamwork is at the heart of how we operate. Whether it’s through team-building activities for scholars or looking for facilitators who excel in collaboration, we prioritize working together towards a common goal. Additionally, environmental conservation is a value we are passionate about. We understand the importance of caring for our environment and the benefits it brings, from the beauty of nature to sustainable practices like climate-smart agriculture. These core values shape our organization and guide us in our mission to create a better future for all.

What has working with young people taught you?
Working with young people has taught me a great deal about the potential that lies within each individual. What I have observed is that young people possess a wealth of innovative ideas waiting to be unleashed. They simply require the support and belief of those around them to flourish. By providing them with the guidance and motivation they need, we can help them realize their full potential and make a positive impact on the world around them.

Moreover, interacting with young people has shown me the power of resilience and determination. Many of them draw inspiration from real-life examples of individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve success. By sharing these stories and creating a supportive environment, we can empower young people to strive for greatness and reach their goals. It is truly inspiring to witness the transformation of young minds as they grow and develop into confident individuals ready to make a difference in society.

What are some of the factors that hinder entrepreneurship?
One of the primary obstacles to entrepreneurship is mindset. Growing up in an environment that does not encourage thinking about how to turn a small profit can hinder individuals from pursuing entrepreneurial endeavours. In contrast, in other cultures, children are raised with a sense of self-belief and awareness of their capabilities from a young age. Therefore, fostering a mindset that believes in the possibility of success is crucial in overcoming this barrier to entrepreneurship.

Additionally, access to resources and connections can also pose challenges for aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there is a shift happening in various spaces to address these issues. Efforts are being made to restructure the education system to help individuals recognize patterns in society and transform them into opportunities. By providing the necessary support and tools, these initiatives aim to empower individuals to overcome obstacles and pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

In your opinion, what do you believe is the state of entrepreneurship in Uganda?
What’s interesting is that entrepreneurship is not limited to those with formal education. Many individuals who have not gone through traditional schooling are also embracing entrepreneurship. This inclusivity and accessibility of entrepreneurship opportunities are crucial in ensuring that everyone has a chance to succeed. The integration of entrepreneurship into vocational training institutes further emphasizes the importance of practical skills and hands-on experience in fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among the youth. It’s a promising sign for the future of entrepreneurship in Uganda.

Overall, the entrepreneurship in Uganda seems to be thriving. The emphasis on grassroots advocacy, government support, and the integration of entrepreneurship into various educational institutions all point towards a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. With more people recognizing the value of entrepreneurship and actively participating in it, the future looks bright for the entrepreneurial landscape in Uganda.

Kisitu oversees agricultural operations, delving into new technologies and seeking innovative methods to enhance productivity, and also leads as the Chairperson of Jangu Tusome, a partner organization aligned with Jangu’s mission of fostering positive change through education and empowerment in communities.

WATCH: Learn more about Jangu International Agroforestry Farm’s Journey

Established in 2014, Jangu International originated from a noble cause of providing educational sponsorships to orphans in Uganda. This initiative has since transformed into a unique learning environment that empowers marginalized individuals and school dropouts by equipping them with the necessary tools and mindset to envision a better future for themselves as social entrepreneurs.

Over time, the concept of Jangu International underwent various stages of development, from being tested and refined to ultimately proving its success. It became evident that the innovative approach adopted by Jangu International had the potential to extend its reach far beyond its initial community. This realisation led to the expansion of the model from Mpigi to refugee camps in Uganda and eventually to other African nations, under the name of SINA.

SINA, also known as the Social Innovation Academy, emerged as a sister organization to Jangu International, with a mission to establish a global network of self-organized learning spaces. Through the SINA model, individuals across different regions are empowered to become agents of positive change within their communities. By fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, SINA aims to create a ripple effect of social impact that transcends borders and inspires individuals to realize their full potential.

Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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