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MAKE IT WITH GRAPHICS

Innovative graphics business skills for sustainable development in Uganda.

Photo of wamala matthew
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Youth unemployment remains a serious policy challenge in Uganda and the Causes are believed to be challenging, ranging from insufficient employable skills (i.e., youth possess skills that are not compatible with available jobs) and those who possess the skills are job seekers not job creators, from that analysis, we came up with the idea of graphic designing and printing to increase on the number of skills in the youth which can help them develop their ideas due to creativity through branding their businesses and the community at large. Due to the graphics analysis venturing off and the youths establishing their own graphic design businesses is terrifying and a tiny bit intimidating. But cutting the strings to the corporate world and being in charge is highly rewarding and very doable. Being a self-employed graphic designer offers an ideal work environment – the ability to work from home, time flexibility and, most importantly, autonomy that’s why we bring an idea of graphics designing as a skill but the question is how can it be done as a business for the youths?

WHO BENEFITS?

We are targeting marginalized youths weather educated or not, rural or urban areas of Uganda since the government is on the threat of the increasing number of unemployment which may cause security threat in the country years to come if not prevented now by providing the skills to the youth.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU

We’re a team of youth mentors and facilitators volunteering at smart up factory kawempe under plan international to upgrade the marginalized youths in kawempe through skills training and mentoring to curb the problem of youth unemployment in uganda.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

  • Uganda

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BECAUSE OF BENEFICIARY FEEDBACK?

From the feedback when we gatherd in the community we added more sessions in the program like photography due to the demand of the beneficiaries. From the feedback, the beneficiaries would like to extend the idea in different countries of East africa to empower more youths to discover the purpose of their lives. From the feedback, the beneficiaries requested for links or networking with diffrent partners to work with and for employment opportunities.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE?

The people who are going to implement this idea need no payments because they will be volunteers and we shall be having peer to peer sessions amongst ourselves. The implementers of this Idea shall only be those that are passionate about it. We have a unique advantage of women empowerment as girls will be given more priority in learning this. Besides graphics, we shall also be offering additional computer lessons plus sessions about social media and photography basics. The beneficialies need entrepreneurship skills to be part of the program.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HAS NOT BEEN SOLVED?

It is because youths lack enough startup equipment and training kits since they are poor. The youths lack enough space from where to pursue their ideas since they lack self esteem and empowerment more especially the girls. There's limited accessbility to the marketeable skills like graphics and photography . The unfavourable government policies that focus on other issues besides unemployment amongst the youths. The Youths lack role models to motivate them and inpire them to live upto their dreams. There are limited market channels for the available jobs currently.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA?

Some of the unanswered questions are; How will you motivate the youths to come and be a part of the space? How will the youths be able to startup the graphics businesses yet they cant afford to buy the machines since some are a bit expensive and yet the youths are poor?

IS THIS IDEA NEW FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

This idea is neither new to me nor to the organisation but just innovative compared to other graphics bussineses since we offer multiple skills and we target the maginalized youths most.

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?

We as a team of youth mentors at the space as usual and other youths who learn will pass the skills to the rest of the youths in the communities on the basis of volunteering.

Youth unemployment remains a serious policy challenge in Uganda and the Causes are believed to be challenging, ranging from insufficient employable skills (i.e., youth possess skills that are not compatible with available jobs) and those who possess the skills are job seekers not job creators, from that analysis, we came up with the idea of graphic designing and printing to increase on the number of skills in the youth which can help them develop their ideas due to creativity through branding their businesses and the community at large. Due to the graphics analysis venturing off and the youths establishing their own graphic design businesses is terrifying and a tiny bit intimidating. But cutting the strings to the corporate world and being in charge is highly rewarding and very doable. Being a self-employed graphic designer offers an ideal work environment – the ability to work from home, time flexibility and, most importantly, autonomy that’s why we bring an idea of graphics designing as a skill but the question is how can it be done as a business for the youths?

We very well know that there are very many graphics designers and graphics jobs in Uganda and East Africa at large but they are congested in the cities like (Kampala) Nasser road which makes it difficult for some youths and many business men who would like to brand their businesses through adverts like designing brochures, fliers, business cards, log designing handouts, T-shirts printing and designing, magazines billboards, packaging designs finds it difficult thinking that its very expensive hence end up failing to brand their businesses. And branding or advertising a business is one of the key factors for the business to develop. Thus leaving the majority unemployed in the rural areas with no access to learning these skills.

When it comes to gender, girls are taken to be inferior when it comes to graphics designing but this time round we shall consider them most so that they pick that skill and have that self-esteem that they can do better in that business and many have got a lot of ideas but they are not exposed.

So we need to train more graphics designers in diverse communities all over Uganda and giving them skills on how to use the social media with internet since we shall have computers during the trainings to add on their creativity and making sure that we get the trainers on the cheaper price or free of charge through preaching the gospel of volunteering and togetherness plus giving peer to peer trainings from which we advise them to deliver the services at the affordable prices. And we teach 1 person and him or she teaches 4 at a free cost as a give back to the community and that’s how the chain will move. It will be easy if materials provided because we have the experience from smart up factory through the trainings we give to the youths on a free coast and peer to peer sessions because we have the space and many youths in Uganda can witness this due to the success they possess.

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Photo of Chelsea Takamine
Team

Hi Matthew and Team! In addition to Aya, an expert that has posted on your wall already, we have a few more comments and questions for you below. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your idea.

-I think this idea is bold in that it steers away from the typical youth empowerment initiatives in poorer areas and focuses on creative agency and building a different skillset that can help young people brand their work and projects better, or help them work as freelance designers to some degree.
-The beneficiaries are right to be focusing on networking for employment - they understand the key risk. As well as asking the beneficiaries you should be asking the market - what skills are you finding difficult to recruit?
One big question is: what is the demand for these skills in the market place? Are there companies looking for graphic designers and not finding them - either as employees or suppliers? Can this project meet the standards required by the market? What other sources of graphic design skills are there? (does Makarere produce them, or some other specialist colleges?)
-The reasons lists for why the problem has not been solved - lack of equipment, space, bad policy and market linkages - how will the graduates of this scheme overcome these problems without sustainable donor funding?

In case you missed it, OpenIDEO and Amplify hosted a Storytelling Office Hour - https://youtu.be/g0gZRR6T9tA. Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and help make it come to life! Don't forget - December 18th is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Looking forward to reading more!

Photo of wamala matthew
Team

Thank you so much Chelsea for comment and advise to our graphics idea we really appreciate.In Uganda being a low developed country with a lot of firms, schools, organizations, private entities and companies just emerging, this creates room for publicity for all these. Publicity is achieved through various channels graphics inclusive too. With these many bodies arising, there’s high demand for graphic designers to do publicity work for them hence assured market for these skills.
Minus sustainable donor funding, the graduates shall not face as big challenges as such for we shall not only be offering them graphics skills but also other skills as I mentioned in the beneficiary feedback phase. We believe the other skills included shall enable them thrive in the ever changing job world of Uganda. Thank you for your attention.

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