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YCI-PSFU/GROW Empowers Women Entrepreneurs in RHDs – Kampala and Isingiro Districts

On April 25th, 2024, YMCA Comprehensive Institute (YCI) celebrated the graduation of 380 women entrepreneurs from the YCI-PSFU/GROW skilling program. This program, a collaboration between YCI, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the GROW project and the world bank, aimed to empower women in refugee-hosting districts (RHDs) with valuable business development skills.

The ceremony, held at the YCI Buwambo campus, welcomed a distinguished guest of honor: Hon. Betty Amongi Akena, the Cabinet Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development and commended the graduates and encouraged them to leverage their newfound skills to enhance their businesses.

Hon. Betty Amongi Akena cutting cake at the inaugural women entrepreneurs skilling project at YCI

A Diverse Skillset for Diverse Businesses

The program offered a wide range of in-demand skills, catering to a variety of entrepreneurial interests. The 14 skill sets included:

  • Event Decoration (139 graduates)
  • Computer Applications (64 graduates)
  • Graphics Design (20 graduates)
  • Photography (25 graduates)
  • Videography (23 graduates)
  • Jewelry Making (9 graduates)
  • Craft Shoe Making (21 graduates)
  • Hand Crocheting (11 graduates)
  • Child Growth and Development (7 graduates)
  • Early Childhood Care and Parenting (22 graduates)
  • Childhood Health and Nutrition (16 graduates)
  • Language Development Skills (4 graduates)
  • Home Management Skills (4 graduates)
  • Guidance and Counselling (8 graduates)
Group photo of the graduates with Hon. Betty Amongi Akena

Looking to the Future: Grants, Loans, and Collaboration

Hon. Betty Amongi Akena, hinted at exciting prospects for the graduates. The Ministry is exploring the possibility of future grants to support business ventures launched by these women entrepreneurs. Additionally, loan facilities with reduced interest rates (as low as 10%) are being considered.

Dr. Ruth Biyinzika Kasolo, Project Coordinator for the GROW project, emphasized the importance of collaboration among the graduates. She encouraged them to form groups, particularly citing the example of the Nakivale team. By working together, these women can access future funding opportunities more effectively. Dr. Kasolo suggested establishing childcare centers, allowing the graduates to operate their businesses with greater ease.

This graduation ceremony marks a significant milestone for the YCI-PSFU/GROW program. By equipping 380 women with valuable skills and fostering a spirit of collaboration, the program empowers these entrepreneurs to achieve success and contribute meaningfully to their communities.