Youth unemployment stands at between 64% and 70%, and about 400,000 youths are released annually into the job market to compete for approximately 9,000 available jobs. About 30% of the youths who are institutionally qualified in Uganda are unable to find jobs, and the situation is even worse for semiskilled and unskilled youths. Youths who remain unemployed or underemployed and do not exploit their full potential, are often associated with high incidences of drug abuse and gambling. Unemployed youths migrate from rural to urban areas for work, which negatively impacts on the social services sector in urban centres. Ugandan youths shun the agricultural sector, one of the biggest employers in rural areas, preferring to work in service sector jobs like riding motorcycle taxis (boda-bodas), or as low-wage laborers in industries. The government response has been to issue soft loans and youth grants to agricultural programmes such as NAADS (National Agricultural Advisory Service), the Youth Livelihood Fund, and youth SACCOs (Saving and Credit Cooperatives). Additional services include vocational training education programmes as well as Universal Primary and Secondary Education. Despite these interventions, the problem of youth unemployment remains high.
The proposed mission of the incubator is to stimulate the establishment and growth of technology-based start-up companies and other compatible businesses. By fulfilling this mission, the incubator would contribute to job creation, and provide for enhanced economic health to the region.
YIHA will provide five main services to startups and existing entrepreneurs:-
1) Access to full office support
2) Access to business consultants and professionals
3) Access to mentors (Vocational, Technical and Business mentors)
4) Strategic management Advice
5) Access to funding
YIHA’s program will be divided as follows to meet the various needs of startups and entrepreneurs:
Short impact Programs: This will cater for entrepreneurs whose need does not include all of the five listed above. They are:
i. Youthnno Consulting-- Bi-weekly first time complimentary consulting and low-cost follow-ups for start-ups at various stages of development.
ii. Youthnno Space-This service help provide business with full office support internet access, stationeries, classrooms, seminar rooms, workstations, boardrooms e.t.c.
iii. Youthnno pad- This would a 4 bed, 3 bedroom apartment for development lockdowns, in-house retreats and temporary accommodation for business teams that have such needs.
Long Impact Programs: This provides all the five services to the entrepreneurs and startups. The programs here include:
i.Youthnno Camp - The pilot phase of the full-blown process is targeted at higher education teams of student entrepreneurs wanting to build marketable products, and float a business to monetize such.
ii. Youthnno platform - This program provides established early stage technology entrepreneurs with ongoing project pursuit, follow-ups and execution support as well as expansion space and network to grow their business.
iii. Youthnnopreneure-In-Residence: one year corporate social responsibility program for entrepreneurs who are challenged and can exchange their skills to add value to us while they get a wavier on the fees that help them build their business at no cost.
Companies that are accepted into the incubator will enjoy dramatically improved success rates as their business enterprises will be nurtured through early development years. Specific benefits will include:
! Reduced Barriers to Entry - The incubator environment would provide an easy start for emerging companies by offering affordable office space, access to shared equipment, meeting facilities, and on-site business and technical assistance. This lowers the overhead and operating costs during critical formative years.
! Networking and Mentoring - The incubator would facilitate a know-how network to address incubator companies unique needs for partnerships, suppliers, and/or potential sources of capital.
! Increased Visibility and Stature - The incubator would significantly increase visibility and presence of tenant companies in the marketplace and advance their success potential. Admission to the incubator would imply an endorsement that enhances new companies statures and increase their chances to secure funding.
The overarching benefit to the community is increased economic health and vitality. Specific benefits include:
! Job Creation - Incubator companies would create new employment opportunities for area residents. Technology companies typically create higher wage and higher skill jobs.
! Enhanced Image - A business incubator is one important element to enhance Uganda’s image as a progressive, future-thinking place that encourages and supports technology business development.
! Increased Entrepreneurialism - A business incubator can create awareness of entrepreneurs and stimulates confidence among individuals to consider opportunities for business creation.