When fresh graduate Badru Ssenoga impressively developed the ‘Musawo’ Drug App, it was his wakeup call evidencing that youth are the ideal team to tackle pressing health affecting them in Uganda. The app aimed at creating awareness tips about drugs, verifying drugs and is also used as a drug reminder for many people. The app overwhelmed the public, was massively welcomed, but suffered the fate many youth health innovators face-lack of supporting eco system of mentorship and funding.
Having heard the voices of Badru and several other youthful health entrepreneurs, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in partnership with OutBox a hybrid of an incubator, innovation lab and co-working space that specializes in supporting African entrepreneurs interested in using technology to build high-growth businesses ushered in “UP Accelerate”. It is a health-based innovation one year program with the aim at empowering youthful entrepreneurs to address Sexual and Reproductive Health bottlenecks.
The Up Accelerate innovation program has just made its advent into Africa. It has now been launched in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. In it’s core is the concern for the various youth bothered by Africa’s multiple health issues, with a keen interest in solving them through differing business ventures. It is part of a regional initiative by UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office, with funding from UKAID.
As a young innovate and enterprising young person in Uganda, you may wonder, why you should sign up for UP Accelerate. Well, there are numerous benefits for you and here I Helen share with five of the cardinal ones. Experienced and high quality trainers, who will hand down knowledge and skill to ably man businesses and become future moguls, will mold applicants. The program enables young people to access opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. By supporting these growing health business ventures, UP Accelerate will create fully-fledged businesses that will create meaningful employment to the youth.
- Grow your network and make long lasting friendship! Expansion of one’s circles. Successful applicants will meet new people as they will be divided into four different teams. These new contacts just might be big influencers and determinants of one’s success, or possibly long term friends.
- Be a change and game maker! The accelerate program will provide young Ugandans with a favorable environment to thrive in business and private life, and develop a platform or business to support fellow young people to make informed and safe decisions regarding their Sexual Reproductive Health.
- And the biggest and amazing part of it all $40,000 in seed funding! There is a big funding for innovative health ideas. Entrepreneurs will receive a $40,000 seed fund to propel their ideas forward and develop them, so that they can be as productive and gainful as possible.
Up Accelerate calls on young people to realize their desire to learn about and contribute to the challenges faced by the country in regards to improving access to, and the planning, availability and quality of SRH information, services and programs. Interested? For more details check The Up Accelerate Website Deadline is on 22nd December.