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Young Ugandan entrepreneurs get hands-on experience with digital tools

Young Ugandan entrepreneurs

Seven young entrepreneurs belonging to four teams from Uganda participated in a hands-on learning course to familiarise themselves with the solar-powered smart projector kit that they had won through the Access Agriculture Young Entrepreneur Challenge Fund initiative. The smart projector contains the entire library of Access Agriculture farmer-training videos in local and international languages and can be easily updated as new videos become available.

The winners of the Challenge Fund, known as Entrepreneurs for Rural Access (ERAs), are part of a network of innovative young people who design sustainable business models based on using the smart projector in rural areas to bring about a positive change in the lives of farmers, especially women and youth, in their communities through promoting sound agroecological practices.

The course was held at Gudie Leisure Farm, Wakiso district in Uganda as part of the Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa (KCOA) project funded by GIZ. It was facilitated by Access Agriculture ERA Entrepreneur coaches based in Uganda, in association with a local partner, The Farmers Media, and colleagues from KCOA project and the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) network in Uganda.

Simon Negro Adriko, who has been an ERA in Uganda since 2019, was invited to share his entrepreneurship experiences with the newly recruited ERAs. One of the ERAs from AgroMush team who is just completing his studies in Algeria, Azaria Kamusiime, participated virtually in all the sessions.

The training consisted of presentations, classroom and practical field sessions, including:

  • Group presentations of assignments given by the ERA coach before the training relating to key topics of the sessions
  • Demonstration of COVID-19 prevention guidelines that ERAs should follow during the training and in their enterprise-related activities
  • Hands-on experience with the smart projector
  • Data collection tools to monitor and track performance
  • Practical field tasks which involved all the elements that they learnt in the classroom – from youth mobilisation to screening of videos using the smart projector and data collection
  • Session on basic business skills and development of work plans

The ERAs were grateful for the valuable opportunity offered to them through this innovative training to acquire simple but relevant digital and entrepreneurial skills. Martha Kyokuhaire said, "In addition to learning how to operate the smart projector and basic skills to run an enterprise, I also learnt practical tips on how to organise a video show. Having a checklist is important so that you don't leave anything behind at the venue after the show."

The ERAs expressed keen interest to learn more about business modelling, customer segmentation, marketing strategies, negotiation skills and agroecological practices. They plan to continue to be active on different ERA network platforms set up for Uganda and East African region to share their experiences and explore new learning opportunities related to their social enterprise using the smart projector.

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