Today marks the beginning of the Global Entrepreneurship Week. An event that's celebrated world over. In fact, this month marks the 10th Anniversary of Global Entrepreneurship Week. It'll take place from today the 13th to 19th November.
Some events are organized in over 165 countries, that observe the event. In Uganda, NASE is organizing Leap Conference as one of the events during the week. (See also: Tim Draper backed Silicon Valley VC to present at the 3rd Leap Conference at Makerere University Business School).
Startup Digest Africa is celebrating the people who have made it their life's mission to support fellow Ugandan entrepreneurs. While as there are many who have done so in 2017, the 3 listed below - in no particular order - have gone above and beyond.
Barbara is the founder of the Kanjokya road located organization - Women In Technology Uganda (Witu). The organization supports women and girls that are currently under-served ICT-wise. (See also: Women In Technology Uganda Giving Hope to School Drop-Outs).
Launched in 2015, Witu's program admits school dropouts on a cohort basis. And since starting, they have helped hundreds of young girls and women learn basic IT skills. These are either applicable to their small businesses or necessary for landing a job opportunity.
With each cohort averaging 75 women/girls, Witu has a couple of success stories. Though many are running micro-businesses that help them meet daily basics. In 2017 alone, Witu admitted and worked with over 50 girls in its program.
2. C.K Japheth
Japheth is the founder of The Innovation Village. Under which, there's Kampala Angel Investment Network (KAIN). A local angel investors network. KAIN offered free investor ready tips and training in 2017 to several startups. The network currently boasts at least 5 Angel Investors investing in Ugandan startups. (See also: Is Kampala Angel Investors Network the solution to local startups’ funding problem?).
In 2017, the Innovation Village also launched The Innovation Bureau. A home to both local and regional companies like Xente, Kola Studios, Innovate, Andela and more. This became the first facility to bring together companies at the same stage - not a co-working space. (See also: Is The Innovation Bureau the “Silicon Valley” Ugandan Entrepreneurs have been Waiting for?).
The Innovation Village also started offering free space to some entrepreneurs in 2017. Japheth maintains that his goal is for all entrepreneurs with "great ideas to use it for free". This year, he admitted a couple of startups to the Innovation Village without having to pay a fee. (See also: Innovation Village Co-Founder Invited for Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston, Africa Angel Investors Summit in Cape Town).
3. Richard Zulu
Richard is one of the people that have changed tech entrepreneurship in Uganda. He has been able to do this through a hub he founded - Outbox. Towards the end of 2016, the hub launched Up Accelerate - which ran up to October 2017. (See also: The Naked Truth Up Accelerate Programme Alumni Need to Know).
The program, that Richard called "Uganda's first complete acceleration program, was a partnership with UNFPA, DFID, and others.
Held in two cohorts, it supported 8 health startups. This was through 4 months incubation and a USD 10,000 cash injection for each. Startups - during their appreciation speeches - credited the program's experience to Richard. (See also: Here’s What Up Accelerate Startups Learned and the Challenges they Faced).