Last Updated on: 10th October 2023, 07:29 pm
Gulu I In an exciting move to unleash the business potential of young entrepreneurs in Acholi sub-region, Stanbic Bank through its partners has given the green light for the creation of wealth for the youth in the sub-region.
Through the Stanbic Bank Business Incubator’s program Hi-Innovator, the bank and its partners have assured the young youth of Acholi about the possible opportunities that are available to support their businesses.
Nelson Kasada, Manager of Programs at Stanbic Bank Business Incubator told tndNews in an interview that they have the resources and opportunities to support the young entrepreneurs.
According to Kasada, programs like Hi-Innovator look to support the operations of 500 small businesses and have for years been supporting small businesses across the country.
“One of the things we told them is that they need group dynamics, and leadership: what we called improving business operations. We have the opportunity of giving them money, like the Hi-innovator program,” Kasada added.
Hi-innovator, he stated is looking to support the operations of 500 small businesses: “We have supported people like those making liquid soaps.”
He further noted that they can provide seed capital and other smaller capital ranging from as small as USD1,000 to USD100,00 and they have all the partners.
In the same interview, Kasada announced that there is also seed capital that is being run by Stanbic Bank Business Incubator and MasterCard Foundation whereby they have USD20,000 yearly.
“We come and bring opportunities for money…. we have all these partners with us, that is why we are challenging them; start small but be consistent in what you are doing.
“We have seed capital worth USD20,000 dollars and not from Stanbic Bank Business Incubator but coming from MasterCard Foundation of which Stanbic Bank is a partner that is supporting and training entrepreneurs to be able to access this money.
Kasada further added that on average, every year, they are committed to supporting between 30 to 50 entrepreneurs to access this money.
“We encourage the young entrepreneurs not to be afraid to start and hold on to the small businesses they are operating.
“Don’t be afraid to start. Go start and make sure that whatever you are doing, you registered in the next administrative unit available but also that you keep the records and committed to what you are doing,” he advised.
Ivan Tuhumwire, Manager, Financial Fitness Academy at Stanbic Bank also told tndNews that young entrepreneurs need personal finance management and skills to earn, save, invest; budget and protect their money and also an avenue to address their mindset.
Tuhumwire noted that the environment the youth from Acholi sub-region were born in has been harsh, adding that there is a need for financial literacy instilled in them.
“The youth need personal finance management, skills to earn, save, invest, budget and also protect their money.
“We also need an avenue to address their mindset because the environment these youth were born in and their background should dictate how far they should go.
According to Tuhumwire, there are so many opportunities and given the chance that the Stanbic Bank Business Incubator and USAID have come out to support and upskill the youth, they will have knowledge that will set them on the path to financial freedom.
However, he said that the youth need to get the knowledge and opportunity available through sourcing for funding because there are many grants available for entrepreneurs.
“….let us support and up-skill you and give you the knowledge that will set you on the path of financial freedom,” Tuhumwire told tndNews’ Okello Jesus.
The training aimed at equipping the participants with both practical and theoretical skills on how to generate income effectively, strategies for saving and investing, guidelines for budget and responsible spending, techniques for managing debt, preparations for a secure retirement, record keeping, business proposal writing, advice on protecting accumulated wealth, among others was imparted on the young business owners.
Jimmy Francis Okot, a participant from Wol sub-county in Agago district said the training has been so beneficial to him, adding he has now got the knowledge and skills on how to save his money, spend, earn and keep records.
“This training has been so helpful to me. Now I know how to spend my money, earn it, save it, keep a record and above all the skills and knowledge to save some in case of emergency.
According to Okot, the skills and knowledge he had attained through the training will not only end with him, but it has also given him the courage to counsel and advise his friends on how to be successful in their businesses.
Another participant, Charity Apiyo from Purongo sub-county in Nwoya district said the training has been very helpful to her business growth.
Apiyo said she is now able to differentiate between loss and profit and through the training she has learnt how to determine when she is making profits or losses.
“This training has been helpful to me because I have learnt how to manage my business, and when I am doing business, I can differentiate between loss and profit, and also have learnt how to know when I am making profit or losses.
“The training further has equipped me with customer care skills, I now know how to manage and handle my customers while doing my business,” she revealed.
The training brought together 40 enthusiastic young business owners between the ages of 15 to 28 from the districts of Kitgum, Agago, Lamwo, Pader, Nwoya, Gulu; Amuru, Omoro and Gulu City.