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Nurturing Entrepreneurs: VC Launches Mastercard US$200k Seed Fund

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On Friday, 15th February 2019, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe represented by the Principal, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) Dr. Eria Hisali launched the Entrepreneurship Seed Fund for the MasterCard Foundation Scholars and Alumni of Makerere University. The Entrepreneurship Seed Fund will support Scholars and alumni to create economic opportunities within their communities through social ventures.  

The Mastercard Foundation announced a seed funding of US$2,000,000 on 11th August 2018 at the Baobab Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, to implement the Foundation’s Strategy in Africa titled: Young Africa Works in the next two years (2018 to 2020). The strategy focuses on finding solutions to the youth employment challenge and reducing poverty in Africa. The Foundation believes that young people, especially Scholars, will drive and lead change in Africa and are already working hard to fulfill this vision.

Makerere a partner university with Mastercard Foundation received US$200,000 as an Entrepreneurship Seed Fund. According to the Coordinator of the MCF Scholars Program at Makerere University Dr. Florence Nakayiwa, the funding will be geared towards nurturing scholars to come up with social and business ventures. The funds will also help to deepen the development of skills and mindsets required of Scholars as transformative leaders, committed to improving the lives of others.

“The Program Implementation Team designed a seed funding framework to ensure that, the fund will have the greatest impact possible in developing the Scholars as transformative leaders, creating jobs and change through the business ventures. In some cases, Scholars’ ventures will also serve as a ‘transition’ vehicle for them to gain employment after graduating university through their ventures” she said.

The Vice Chancellor's Representative-Dr. Eria Hisali (R) and Coordinator of the MCFSP at Makerere University Dr. Florence Nakayiwa (L) applaud during the proceedings

The Internship and Entrepreneurship Coordinator of the MCFSP at Makerere University Mr. John Osuna said that the Entrepreneurship Seed Fund is open to all business concepts or social projects that have a high-growth potential, are profitable in nature, have the ability to create jobs and are scalable. The eligible business concepts or ideas include; innovations in Sustainable Agriculture, applications of the service or technological innovation, food processing, tourism, trading, renewable energy, fashion, education, health, artificial intelligence and scaling up existing concepts or ideas.

Mr. Osuna also mentioned that the Fund is ring fenced for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni as Principal Investigators or Team Leaders, but the Scholars are encouraged to work with other non-Scholars (other students in at Makerere University) on profitable and social impact projects.

“The first cycle commences this month on 23rd February 2019 with a Social design course for 6 weeks among other development support inclusive of finance up to US$6,000 per project, and mentorship; the second cycle, will be in February 2020,” he explained.

Eligibility and selection criteria     

  • Scholars in their final year of study supported by the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
  • Scholars must be the team leaders in a team of two to four people.
  • Where the Scholars choose non-Scholars on their teams, the non-Scholars must be final year students at Makerere University and should not be more two per team.
  • The business concepts or Social Venture Projects should be profitable, scalable and be able to create jobs for youth.

A former Guild President and Business Development Manager at Enterprise Uganda, Mr. Ronald Edward Mukasa encouraged young entrepreneurs to always be innovative and flexible

At the launch of the Entrepreneurship Seed Fund, Prof. Eria Hisali, thanked Mastercard Foundation for the bright idea that is going to change the mindsets of scholars towards business development.  Prof. Hisali said that Makerere University has embarked on looking for work placements and opportunities that can support students’ social and business ideas.

“We have realized that unemployment is a big challenge to our students, therefore, we have embarked on seeking opportunities that can provide with students either jobs, or ideas to support their ventures. We are getting touch with the government to tap into the wealth creation programs that are geared towards helping youth. The University is revitalizing its Endowment Fund, and we believe that; as the funds grow, some should be channeled to these entrepreneurial activities,” he said.

He urged scholars to fully utilize the opportunity from Mastercard Foundation and build their entrepreneurial world.

He called upon students and other youth to tap into the government programs when he said, “as long as you are organized, this support will be availed to you.  To the Scholars and Alumni, access to the seed fund is going to be a competitive process. Therefore, to the business projects that succeed I wish you the best in your new enterprises and to the ones that do not succeed, I believe the skillset acquired during the development support will place you in a better position to pitch your projects to other organizations in Uganda and beyond for funding.”

Some of the Scholars who attended the event smile for the camera

Mr. Ronald Edward Mukasa, the Business Development Manager at Enterprise Uganda, encouraged young entrepreneurs to always be innovative and flexible.  In a presentation he made, Mr. Mukasa called upon scholars to pay attention to the 3Cs (Care, Competence and Character) when preparing to join the business or social venture sector. According to him, the business world is looking for people who can find problems and look out for the solutions. He therefore said that someone’s passion matters when engaging in business.

“The reason one goes to school is to discover him or herself. Have passion while working on your ventures and be exceptional. The new environment has space for someone that has an excellent idea.  People are willing to pay attention to someone who is good at what he or she is doing. Therefore, you need to go beyond wearing a jersey and be able to score a goal,” he advised.

At the same function, the Vice chancellor launched the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program (MCFSP) Alumni Association; a network that brings together graduates of MCFSP at Makerere University to share opportunities in academics, employment and entrepreneurship among activities.

The Principal Public Relations Officer of Makerere University Ms. Ritah Namisango encouraged students to fully utilize all the available volunteering opportunities, since this will help them to accumulate the much needed experience as they transition from the academic to the professional work environment.

The Scholars Council Representative on MCF Mr. Petere Ngobi and the Alumni Association Representative Mr. Charles Katuramu encouraged scholars to always take up leadership positions and develop their societies.

Guests were entertained by a remarkable poem from Mr. Andrew Muwhezi; a scholar from CoBAMS, as well as a team of scholars from Lane256.

Article Written by Public Relations Office

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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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HERS-EA Fourth Leadership Academy

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Facilitators and Participants of the HERS-EA Third Academy pose for a group photo at the closing ceremony on 5th July 2019, Grand Global Hotel, Kampala Uganda.

The Higher Education Resource Services-East Africa (HERS-EA) provides an intensive residential one-week leadership and management development curriculum focused on women, mainly in higher education institutions and administration.

In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, HERS-EA Fourth Academy will be a totally virtual one. As such, the Academy previously scheduled to take place between June 28th – July 3rd has been postponed by one week to July 5th-9th

Theme: “Positioning Women for Leadership in Higher Education”

A. Institutional Development

1. Managing and Leading Change

2. Reframing Organizations for effective work

3. Developing Effective Partnerships in Higher Education for Women and gender focused advancement

B. Personal Development

4. Career Mapping/building dossier/personal development

5. Professional Women’s economic empowerment through Enterprise development and management for profit maximization

6. Research and Publishing; Leadership and Fundraising for projects including research and publication.

C. Networking

7. The Power of Mentoring; Networking

Who Should Attend?

HERS-EA expects many diverse and dynamic women leaders to attend the ACADEMY, to share and learn from multiple institutional perspectives with guidance from women with a wealth of experience in higher education, national academic organizations, government and non- governmental organizations. Participants are expected hold mid to senior-level positions and bring expertise from all parts of a college or university. They also represent a range of national groups, ages and years of experience in higher education and other fields.

Applying to the ACADEMY:

The deadline for registration has also been extended to June 30th. For more information regarding registration, please visit the website: www.hersea.org Completed registration forms should be emailed, with a scanned payment slip to: info@hersea.org, by 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 30th June.

A complete application includes:
a) CV
b) A self-descriptive letter (not > 500 words) to include:

  • Current Title (e.g. Associate Professor of Economics; Deputy Dean, e. t. c.)
  • Name and Contact Information for 2 Recommenders (e.g. Vice Chancellor, Head of Department, Chief Officer in your area, and/or direct supervisor)
  • Short- and long-term career goals
  • Your expectations for the HERS-EA ACADEMY.

c) Passport size photograph
d) A developmental project you have been assigned or you would like to initiate at your campus (maximum 500 words)
e) Registration fee of $100, please attach a copy of the deposit slip to your application (Bank A/C details below):

Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please email:
info[at]hersea.org or call the HERS-EA Administrator on: +256 (0)772082011 Please,also, visit the HERS-EA website for further updates: www.hersea.org.

Payment Bank Account Details:
Account Name: Higher Education Resource Service East Africa

HERS-EA US $ ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 02083553153181
Swift Code: DFCUUGKA

HERS-EA UGX ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 01083553153172

 

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Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates

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The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (4th L), DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (5th L) and Principal CoVAB-Prof. J.D. Kabasa (3rd L) with L-R: Mr. Byakatonda Patrick, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, Mr. Felix Okello, the Mace bearer and Dr. Samuel Majalija at the CoVAB@50 Celebrations Commissioning, 17th June 2021, Nakyesasa-Namulonge.

The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.

In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.

“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.

“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.

She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”

Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”

Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK
Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK

Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”

In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.

The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.

“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.

Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.
Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.

The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”

In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.

“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.

She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).

As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”

The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.

Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”

Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.

Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.

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