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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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HERS-EA Seventh Academy

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Participants listen to Prof. Maggie Kigozi deliver her keynote address at the HERS-EA Sixth Academy on 3rd July 2023. Photo: Twitter/@HadjahBadr. Grand Global Hotel, Makerere Kikoni, Kampala Uganda. East Africa.

Overview

Higher Education Resource Services, East Africa (HERS-EA) Academy provides an intensive leadership and management development curriculum which equips women with skills needed to advance their personal career development and successfully navigate the institutional environment where they operate. The goal of the HERS-EA training is to raise the proportion of women in leadership and management positions in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Eastern Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda).

The program is focused on managing and leading change, human resource development and institutional effectiveness. The Academy prepares every participant to strengthen and expand her leadership skills by working closely with HERS-EA resource persons and staff. Participants will find the Academy to be a safe environment to share confidential matters.

Following six previous successful Academies, the Seventh HERS-EA ACADEMY will be offered in a one-week blended (virtual and in-person) format (July 19 – 25, 2024), we hope you can be part of the success story. This Academy will be a special one because we expect to be joined by collaborative researchers from USA, it will be part of the 10th Anniversary and it will be hosted by Gulu University in Northern Uganda. It will also include an excursion to a refugee camp, to generate further collaborative research ideas and another, to Murchison Falls National Park, for our wellbeing and reflection session; you won’t want to miss it!

Theme: “Rethinking Women Leadership for the 21st Century

Please see Downloads below for details and the application form.

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UNAFRI: Post of Deputy Director-General

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United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) Office, Nakawa Kampala Uganda, East Africa. Photo: UNAFRI.

The United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) Uganda Office invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for the Post of Deputy Director-General.

Level: Senior Level, Full-time staff position

Salary Scale: P5/I – UNAFRI Salary Scale

Duration: Initially, four (4) years

Nationality: Candidates shall exclusively be nationals of Uganda.

Closing Date: 30th April 2024

Contact for inquiries: See detailed Advert below

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Call For Abstracts: Evidence to Action 2024 Conference

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Call for Abstracts: Evidence to Action Conference, 22nd - 26th July 2024, Accra, Ghana.

THEME: Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

1.0 BACKGROUND

The International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED), the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience (MRR) of the University of California at Davis in conjunction with the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) and other partners are organizing the 6th Evidence to Action Conference and Exhibition in Ghana at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Auditorium, University of Ghana, from 22nd to 26th July 2024 comprising two days of pre-conference events/side events and the three-day conference and exhibition.

2.0 CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES

The conference would have the following specific objectives, revolving around Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation:

  1. Knowledge Sharing: The conference will facilitate the exchange of knowledge, research, and best practices in resilience and climate change adaptation. By bringing together leading experts in the field, we aim to create a platform for idea generation and knowledge sharing.
  2. Networking: The conference will provide an opportunity for participants to network and build connections with professionals from various industries, organizations, and regions. By fostering collaboration and partnerships, we aim to strengthen the global resilience community and promote innovative solutions.
  3. Policy Dialogue: The conference will provide a platform for policymakers, government representatives, and stakeholders to engage in meaningful discussions on climate change adaptation policies. By fostering dialogue and collaboration between policymakers and experts, we aim to contribute to the development of evidence-based policies that support resilience and sustainability.
  4. Innovation and Technology: The conference will focus on showcasing innovative and technological solutions that can support resilience and adaptation to climate change. By highlighting advancements in technology, such as renewable energy systems, resilient infrastructure, and early warning systems, we aim to stimulate innovation and drive transformative change.
  5. Capacity Strengthening: The conference will enhance the knowledge and skills of participants in resilience and climate change adaptation. Through workshops, training sessions, and presentations by experts, we aim to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to adapt to the evolving climate challenges.
  6. Collaboration and Action: The conference will foster collaboration and action among participants to address climate change resilience and adaptation challenges. By facilitating partnerships, collaboration initiatives, and project proposals, we aim to translate knowledge and ideas into actions that contribute to building resilient communities and ecosystems.

3.0 DELEGATES AND PARTICIPANTS

The conference will bring together a high caliber of experts, government actors, policymakers, research institutions, academia, civic society organizations, international NGOs, United Nations Agencies, private sector organizations and industry, global business leaders and entrepreneurs, and the media.

4.0 CONFERENCE THEME

The main theme of the conference is, “Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation”. The theme explores the linkages and synergies between two key concepts essential for addressing climate change impacts, especially in Africa. It highlights questions such as: How can climate change adaptation enhance resilience to current and future climate risks? What barriers and enablers are for effective and inclusive adaptation and resilience building? How can adaptation and resilience contribute to sustainable development and human well-being in a changing climate? How can evidence and evaluation inform and improve adaptation and resilience policies and practices?

4.1 Sub-Themes

The sub-themes of the conference are highlighted below:

  1. Artificial Intelligence, advanced digital tools and technological innovations
  2. Adaptation methods and climate resilient infrastructure
  3. Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance (CDRFI)
  4. Intersectionality and climate justice
  5. Youth and climate change
  6. Climate policy, governance, and systemic change
  7. Agricultural innovations for climate change adaptation and resilience

5.0 IMPORTANT DATES TO NOTE

  1. Online submission of abstracts starts 19th Feb
  2. Submission of abstracts ends 30th April
  3. Notification on acceptance of abstracts 15th May
  4. Deadline for registration and payment of fees 30th June
  5. Receipt of PowerPoint presentations and soft copy of the poster presentation 15th July

6.0 OPPORTUNITIES & SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The abstract should be at most 500 words in MS Word and double-spaced using Times New Roman fonts 12 pt. It should include the study’s purpose, methodology, summary of findings/results, conclusion, and significance/contribution of the study. The abstract should be written in English. They should be submitted electronically to: https://mrr.piestar-rfx.com/opportunities. If you have more than one submission, they must be individually submitted. We are accepting submissions for:

1. Short paper presentations

Papers are intended to generate discussion and therefore should be based on a recently completed evaluation, with the aim of clarifying issues in evaluation theory and proposing new and innovative evaluation paradigms. Paper proposals should indicate:

  • Title of the paper
  • Name, title and institutional affiliation of presenting author
  • Email and telephone contact of presenting author
  • Papers must be allocated to a specific Sub-theme.

2. Breakout session panel discussions

Breakout sessions will include multiple panelists and a moderator and will be used to present multiple contributions or perspectives under a single topic. In your submission, please:

  • Identify the key point of contact for the organization of the panel
  • In the abstract field, please indicate the contribution of each proposed panelist, and the proposed panel moderator/facilitator.

3. Short poster presentations

An exhibition of posters during the evaluation week will be provided. As such, posters with images and text will be required for display in a designated space. Posters will be expected to depict an evaluation study including key questions asked, methodology, data, findings, recommendations, and conclusions. Posters will be displayed during the conference, and presenters must be available to respond to questions about the poster on display. Accepted Poster presentations will be displayed in the exhibition hall during the conference. Posters should measure approximately 0.95 m in width and 1.5 m in height. Poster presenters are advised to submit a hard copy of their posters to the secretariat a day before/on the first day of the conference. Proposals for poster presentation must include:

  • Title of the poster
  • Name, title, and institutional affiliation of the presenting author
  • Email and telephone contact of presenting author

7.0 CONTACT FURTHER FOR ENQUIRIES

For more information about the conference, abstract submissions, participation and registration, applicable fees, hosting a pre-conference session/side event, please visit our website https://www.iced-eval.org or email info@iced-eval.org.

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