“Youth Startup Academy Empowers 250 Ugandan Entrepreneurs with Business Catalyst”


About 250 eager business owners from all over Uganda went to a tough boot camp to learn how to grow their companies. The Youth Startup Academy Uganda is in charge of the boot camps. They are part of a project called an incubator that tries to help 1,000 entrepreneurs under the age of 35.

The end goal is to make Uganda a better place for startups. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the key to getting more young people jobs and starting their own businesses.

The Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME) provided funding for the boot camps carried out by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with Uganda’s Hive Colab, a co-working space for young tech entrepreneurs.

Kampala, Mbarara, Jinja, and Gulu all had boot camps. During the sessions, people discussed the business model, how to analyze customers, pget to markets, and legal and tax problems. KOSME’s work in the Republic of Korea led to the three-stage development program. Since 2011, the Korean startup has sent out 6,741 graduates and two “unicorns.” A “unicorn” is a startup worth more than $1 billion.

After the boot camps, some entrepreneurs will get intensive and advanced classes and one-on-one coaching to help them grow their businesses.

The incubation program at YSAU will help entrepreneurs in many ways, such as giving them access to a fully equipped business creation center with a co-working space, an IT room, and a maker space. Entrepreneurs will be able to use the space even after they have graduated.

ITC will also choose the best business owners to participate in regional and foreign trade fairs. These events allow new companies to meet more people, tell investors about their businesses, and form partnerships.

Since the project started in June 2022, YSA Uganda has taught 110 entrepreneurs how to run their businesses. In 2022, 17 of these startups said they had more sales or made more sales, and 13 of them got new investments.

The YSA Uganda program will assist the current cohort of entrepreneurs through the end of July 2023. The following group of entrepreneurs will be trained from July to November 2023, with a final group incubation planned for early 2024.




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