U-Spark Hub uses the power of media and information technology to enhance youth social innovation and entrepreneurship.
EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
Our idea is to create a platform that trains youth to use the power of media and information technology for connecting youth entrepreneurs for peer support and mentorship, building their skills in branding, marketing and networking and promoting culture of social ventures and enterprises. We build enabling self organized learning environments in young people's lives on a peer to peer approach.
U-Spark Hub will deliver on:
1. YOUTH FORUM: Online platform that features youth social enterprises. We will develop a creative tool to map out innovative youth social ventures and build platform to promote and market their enterprises.
2. ENGAGEMENT THROUGH MEDIA: Video clips, multi-media show, radio talks that capture stories of youth entrepreneurs for inspiration. TEDx youth entrepreneurship events at hard to reach areas that bring youth of diverse backgrounds together, raise youth profile and promote culture of social enterprises.
3. PEER MENTORSHIP SUPPORT: Online discussion forum, free SMS platform for mentorship and information exchange.
The idea will directly benefit both refugee and host community youth who have already initiated innovative social ventures and enterprises and those who aspire to start up such initiatives but lacks encouragement and support to do so.
The first prototyping session was conducted on May 7 with the team. We first prototyped an online space on which youth entrepreneurs can seek support and guidance, gain crucial information, and network with other youth entrepreneurs for new business partnership or mentors. We gained some feedback from our colleagues. The major feedback we gained was the question of how to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban youth, youth and "senior youth", refugee and Ugandan youth. Another crucial feedback was how to make this online space more inclusive so that refugee youth can feel a sense of belonging. The second prototyping session was conducted during the partner consultation meeting on youth strategy on 18 May. The team included both refugee and Ugandan youth. We brainstormed an idea of social media sites where both refugee and Ugandan youth can freely exchange critical information and strengthen partnership. We prototyped a logo "One Youth One Heart" for these sites.
We had a half day session to receive feedback from refugee and Ugandan youth on the online space at one of the urban community centres. What we learned from this session is the importance of young entrepreneurs in not only being connected on line but also face to face interactions for identifying business partners, mentorship, sharing information and gaining inspiration. We had a Skype call with refugee youth group, E20 in Nakivale settlement who uses media to change communities. We shared and discussed the same challenge question, "how might we effectively reach out to hard to reach youth and community members with our developed tool/product in order to make a change in their lives?" We talked about the importance of having creative community outreach methods to be meaningfully connected to our end users. We had another feedback session with youth entrepreneurs as well as youth in Kampabits and learned that creating a "community youth hub" with peer supporters is very crucial.
SKILL SHARE (optional)
We will need a team of people who work with youth and have a strong background in ICT, media and social research.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
We are a team of professionals and diverse backgrounds who work with refugee and host community youth in Uganda.
IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?
Yes, I have implementation capacity and am interested in and able to make this idea real in my community.