In order for development to be sustainable, we address human, social, environmental, as well as economic factors. Youth entrepreneurship is one project area of ISU-UP. Entrepreneurship also is woven into project areas such as crops, livestock, education, and community nutrition. All projects are intended to enable the community to have a sustainable source of income from acquired knowledge and hands-on skills.
Youth Entrepreneurship Program
The Youth Entrepreneurship Program trains Ugandan youth (young adults between 15-35 years of age who are either in school or out-of-school) on the many facets of agricultural entrepreneurship. Gaining enhanced knowledge in agriculture, food, and related sciences along with learning practical skills in crop and livestock management, marketing and leadership, participants grow towards self-reliance and an enterprising adulthood.
In addition, the home gardening project ensures that in-school youth practice agriculture as a business. The income obtained from the gardens they plant at home is used to pay school fees and to purchase scholastic materials and other needs.
Community Income Generation Innovations (CIGI)
ISU-UP first introduced the concept of CIGI as an income diversification strategy for mothers at the Nutrition Education Centers to help them sustain their families’ nutritional gains after graduating from the centers. Later, youth in-school and out-of-school also were included. ISU-UP CIGI projects include crafts projects such as jewelry making, tailoring (including production or clothing, bags, face masks and re-usable sanitary pads), basket weaving, soap making, and making lesson books for school children.
Some of the approaches we utilize include:
- Facilitate agripreneurship clubs
- Facilitate craft programs that benefit students, youth and community members
- Conduct trainings in crop and livestock production and management
- Introduce beekeeping and honey production
- Provide small enterprise development training
- Facilitate youth farmer groups for mentoring and collective marketing
- Facilitate research, discussion, and networking between students and teachers from different area schools
- Organize an annual Youth Institute that promoted research and brings students from different schools together, culminating in a final event at our Mpirigiti Rural Training Centre
- Facilitate establishment of mentorships
- Facilitate formation of Village Savings and Loan Associations among group members
- Strengthen access to markets
- Promote access to microfinance services
- Promote economies of scale by producing and marketing collectively
Continuing goals include:
- Organize small and medium-scale farmers and young entrepreneurs to participate in commercially viable livestock and crop value chains that link inputs, production and markets
- Increase the number of mothers and youth entrepreneurs enrolled in community income generating innovation projects
- Build self-governance capacity of community income generating innovation groups
- Develop capacity for climate change resilience at schools, with entrepreneurs, and with other community groups
- Develop best practices publications in both English and Lusoga languages
The Youth Entrepreneurship Program trains Ugandan youth to be agricultural entrepreneurs. Gaining practical skills in crop and livestock management, marketing and leadership, participants become more self-reliant, which sets the stage for future economic opportunities. The annual Youth Institute focuses that mission both inward and outward: improving collaboration with participating schools by inviting them to research and present perspectives on four challenges in the district.
To make a gift to the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, please click here to go directly to the ISU Foundation, or contact Sarah Roelfs at (515) 294-1031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.