EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
Uganda has the youngest and most rapidly growing population in the world and a high fertility rate of 6.2. A big percentage of Uganda’s population is younger than 15 years standing at 52% above Sub- Sahara Africa’s average of 43.2%. This situation translates into high youth dependency ratio. Unemployment for Ugandan Youth stands at more than 65% and the rate of underemployment is high, despite a 10% unemployment rate. This situation is connected to a UNESCO report on youth and skills, working below the poverty line is a much widespread phenomenon than not working at all (UNESCO, 2012).
The Ugandan Vision 2040 sees the youthful population as the springboard for achieving a middle income status. This has created the need for harnessing youthful labour force through job creation, the creativity of the youthful minds for innovation. That is what Women in Technology Uganda addresses by mentoring, inspiring and training in skills for young women.
The WITU HUB is a women focused innovation and incubation space that offers an open space where young women can start up, co-create and scale up small businesses. It is aimed at developing the young women’s skills of identification of opportunities to start and manage their own businesses thus improving employability of youth. The young women are taken through technology, leadership, life skills, financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills. They are also taken through some critical thinking sessions to transform their way of learning and thinking, so that they don’t ask questions like what will government do for them, instead think about what their role in their community and society is.
The Hub also acts as a safe space to vulnerable young women, taking them through attitude and behavioural change sessions that inspire and motivate them to build or seed the creation of new ideas that when nurtured with the critical thinking skills and the necessary resources those ideas can be turned into sustainable ventures which will impact our societies.
WITU provides small loans to the young women’s promising ideas to build them into sustainable ventures.
WITU targets and works with Young women between 15 to 30 years from underserved communities in Kampala and its surrounding areas. Women empowerment is essential for accelerated social economic transformation. Women constitute 51% of Uganda’s population and should play a role in the development process.
TELL US ABOUT YOU
Women in Technology Uganda started in 2011 and registered in Uganda as a non-profit organization. WITU aims at empowering young women in Technology and Business by building capacity through training, mentoring and networking. WITU believes in women and are passionate about the success of women in Uganda and believe that technology can and is playing a big role in the success of women. Through relevant training of young women, we know that Uganda will grow not only economically and socially but greatly influence the next generation of Ugandan women and girls. WITU’s goal is to:
Inspire: Young women to believe in themselves
Teach: Train in relevant community Leadership, technology and business education
Create: Community Leaders, technologists and business women
WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED
Underserved communities in Kampala and its surrounding areas.
EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRIES
WITU has worked in underserved communities in Uganda for the last 3 years. It has trained and directly impacted 1020 young women currently runs a Career Leadership and Life skills training program (CLSP) a three (3) months training program that engages young women from underserved communities. They are trained in STEM, Entrepreneurship, leadership and Life skills increasing their chances at finding gainful employment or starting a business that is technology enabled.
WITU’s holistic theory of change looks at a girl or young woman’s life in a 360 angle, looking at Personal development, Leadership, Life skill, Health, Business skilling and job linkages or smart loans. In the long run, this creates a community of exemplary women ready to take on careers in technological fields thus reducing the technology gender gap and business women creating strong and growing Small and Medium Enterprises.
EXPERTISE IN SECTOR
Prior to opening up the space, we engaged parents, community leaders, religious bodies, local government and young women to gain better understanding of the young women’s needs, their input to the space and buy in from them. This way, they have all been and still a great resource for recruitment, feedback and impact measurement. They have become our voice in communities and this has led to attracting other supporters including funders. Having existed three years now, WITU is the first and only women focused tech and business Hub in Uganda and has established itself as an environment to inspire, train, mentor and share ideas for all budding women in technology in order to realize the vision to support early stage and growing women SMEs.