A group of 450 youth in agribusiness in Bwera, Rukungiri, Wakiso, Kyenjojo, Mpigi, Jinja and Kampala city will receive free financial literacy skills to boost their businesses and income, starting this month.
This follows the commencement of a shs66.5 million partnership between Centenary Bank, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited (CURAD) to provide financial literacy to youth in agriculture.
CURAD is one of the six agribusiness incubators in Africa and is aimed at producing innovative young entrepreneurs and agribusiness leaders to champion productivity and profitability of the agricultural enterprises in the country.
According to Apollo Ssegawa, the Managing Director of CURAD, the initiative will boost sustainability of the businesses nurtured at the center.
“As new entrepreneurs, the youths must know how to handle money as well as keep records if they are to stay in business. This partnership will help us reach our goal of promoting successful agribusiness enterprises in the country.”
29 youths from the center were skilled in costing, record keeping and business planning.
The initiative is part of Centenary Bank’s CenteBusinessLife financial literacy program in partnership with ILO- Youth Entrepreneurship Facility, where young entrepreneurs are empowered with financial skills to help them turn their ideas into business opportunities and ultimately generate income.
Speaking at the closure of the three day training, Allen Ayebare, Centenary Bank’s Chief Manager- Corporate Affairs and Communications said, “The youth segment is core to Centenary Bank as they are our nation’s future. We recently partnered with several institutions to support youth entrepreneurs grow and these include; Government of Uganda, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), International Labor Organisation (ILO) and Junior Achievement Uganda. Today, we are partnering with yet another institution that believes in improving capacity of youth to develop and that is Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited (CURAD). We call upon other stakeholders to join us in this cause.”
So far, over 400 youths across the country have benefited from the Centenary and ILO financial literacy program since its inception in October 2012.
The National Coordinator for ILO – Youth Entrepreneurship Facility in Uganda, Robert Mawanda confirmed that positive changes had been registered through the partnership in terms of businesses started and expansion of existing business.
“According to our recent impact survey, 49% of the youths trained have started new businesses and an average of 2.4 additional jobs has been created,” he said.
The bank has also partnered with Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and AgriBusiness Initiative Trust (ABI Trust) in the past to empower Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) with financial skills and Techno Serve to train women.