UNDP Creates 17,000 Jobs through Its Support to Youth Innovations

May 26, 2023

Photo collage showcasing some of the works of the beneficiaries of the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility

UNDP Uganda

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has created approximately 16,286 job opportunities through its support to youth innovations and enterprises under the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility (Y4BF), a performance assessment report by PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd shows.
“We noted that approximately 16,286 job opportunities had been created for the youth by the enterprises as a result of the interventions, leading to a reduction in unemployment levels in the communities,” reads the report. The assessment was conducted between August and December 2022, featuring 40 enterprises supported under the initiative.

At 76% (12,339), the Information and Technology sector accounted for most of the jobs created, followed by the agriculture and agribusiness and tourism sectors that accounted for 13% (2,155) and 9% (1,386) of the jobs created respectively.

Besides the jobs, the programme had other profound impacts including the empowerment of youth and women in entrepreneurship skills, development of online marketing platforms for various products and services, and increased access to capital for smallholder farmers through creation of savings groups and Village Savings and Loan Schemes. Others are remarkable improvements in solid waste disposal and management practices and reduction in harmful practices such as poaching and deforestation by creating alternative sources of livelihoods such as apiculture and making of commercial tourist products from stones.

There has also creation of online tour guide platforms in areas that were underserved such as Karamoja sub-region, development of alternative sources of livelihood, empowerment of women with entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills, and creation of new business partnerships. 
Formally launched by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in August 2020, the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility (Y4BF) is an initiative of UNDP and Stanbic Bank designed to tackle youth unemployment through impact-driven innovation and entrepreneurship in sectors with a high multiplier effect on creation of jobs and livelihood opportunities.

UNDP Supports 92 more Youth Innovators
As part of continued efforts to support youth entrepreneurship and business startups, UNDP through Y4BF has supported another set of 92 youth innovators to pilot various innovations and business models with a commercial imperative, the capacity to create jobs at larger scale and solve complex development challenges. The beneficiaries are implementing innovations and business models in 24 districts across the country with the majority based in the greater Kampala areas of Mukono, Wakiso, Mpigi and Kampala.
To enable youth to unearth, nurture creative early-stage ideas and form start-ups and identify beneficiaries, UNDP implemented a Youth IDEAthon which allowed participants to ideate, co-create and collaborate on possible solutions to real economic and social challenges. The 92 recipients were selected following a highly competitive rigorous process undertaken by a team of expert judges in various fields. The 92 start-ups have received grants and business incubation support.

Duncan Bwengye, the founder of OcTien tech

UNDP Uganda

Early results

Godfrey Sengonzi, 35, is a proprietor of Sego Industries Ltd dealing in production of tiles in Wakiso district. With the support of UNDP, Sengonzi is investing in research to improve the quality of his tiles to spur demand for his products. 

Duncan Bwengye, the founder of OcTien tech – a hardware technology start up offering innovative and better alternative technologies to improve technology adoption in urban and rural Africa says, “We are starting to see a change in the lifestyle of the people we work with as they have become more empowered and self- reliant. We are creating a more sustainable future for the communities we serve.” Bwengye adds that they have reached out to local artisans who are building local solutions such as welding machines and battery chargers, “We are seeing a significant shift in the way young people perceive technology. They are now more optimistic about their prospects and see a future in which they can make a meaningful contribution to society.”

Ruth Akuo, 25, runs a company called East Beeznom located in Abia village, in Amuria district, Eastern Uganda. She is using a grant of Shs 17 million she received from UNDP to buy hives, smokers and venom collectors and other which she needed to bring her business idea to life. Akuo hopes to grow and expand and in future venture into making of syrup which will be sold to people as a food supplement and boost their immune system.