By Tonny Akankwatsa
Holy Cross Lake View SSS from Eastern Uganda emerged victorious in the 4th edition of the Stanbic Bank National Schools (NSC) championships, following a highly competitive finishing round which involved four schools
The winners managed to beat off competition from Nyakasura School from (Western region), St Mary’s College, Kisubi (Central region) and St Mary’s College, Aboke (Northern region) who were selected for the penultimate stage which was the boot camp.
After a series of qualifying rounds the four finalist schools presented their relevant business plans to a panel of judges; Amos Wekesa, CEO-Great Lakes Safaris, Meralyn Muyanja – TechnoServe manager and Ronald Mukasa- director at CPA, during the finale held at Hotel Africana on Friday, July 12.
As this year’s champions, Holy Cross Lake View SSS walked away with several prizes for the school including a trip to South Africa for the two contestants.
During the awards ceremony, Stanbic Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire thanked the 2019 champions for putting up a spirited fight and ably defending their business ideas.
“The aim of this Championship project is to promote access to better rounded education and enhance skills development through equipping students with entrepreneurship, critical thinking, and life skills that we believe will better prepare them to be job creators in the future,” he said.
The annual NSC is a Corporate Social Responsibility project of Stanbic Bank that runs countrywide and has been taking place since 2016. It seeks to equip students with business and enterprise skills in a bid to nurture entrepreneurship, creativity, and long term business thinking.
Mweheire said, “Student participation in this initiative has grown over the last four years to involve 72 schools and 21,600 students, a much more significant number of teachers, students, and community members have benefited from the various life and financial skills training that we have implemented.”
Stanbic Bank Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Barbara Kasekende congratulated the winning school saying they won because they followed the business plan which fulfilled all the required sustainability tests.
“The quality of the competition this year has been very impressive. We are particularly pleased to see the great enthusiasm amongst the students which proves there is growing popularity for championship across the country each succeeding year.
“What’s more exciting is the passion the teachers have, not only for the National Schools initiative but also for their self-development as well,” she said.
Adding; “Over the years, we have been able to witness amazing business ideas generated by the students from across the country that is still being executed within the school premises to date. This year alone, more than 400 business ideas were generated by the students across the country that included 72 schools and 21,600 students, drawn from all the four regions of the country.”
The theme for this year was ‘Empowering the job creators of tomorrow. The competition began with activations across the four regions of the country. Participating schools then went through boot camp, classroom tests after which they had a business idea generation session that allowed them to present their business ideas to their respective school communities.
The event saw a number of successful entrepreneurs and businessmen, among others; Patrick Bitature who was the guest motivational speaker, Café Javas’ Bashasha who offered all participants with full course meal coupons.
Every school had at least three students participating alongside their patron. The overall winning school, Holy Cross Lake View S.S was awarded a full installed solar system worth ugx 20 million, a bull as students walked away with iPad air tabs each, an all-expenses-paid trip to South Africa to visit Stanbic Bank base, and then their patron given UGX 1.5 million.
Students form Nyakasura School as the 1st runner up were given each a laptop, their patron cashed UGX 1 million and a water system for the school worth 10 million.
St. Mary’s College Kisubi students got a kindle each, UGX 800,000 for patron and scholastic materials worth UGX 5 million for the school. Lastly, St. Mary’s College Aboke as the 3rd runner up were given a smartphone each and UGX 500,000 as the school got scholastic supplies worth UGX 2 million.