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Ignore technology at your own peril, youth entrepreneurs advised

By Denis Nsubuga

Added 24th May 2017 04:44 PM

Beronda was representing Nyombi Thembo, director of RCDF, as guest of honour during a final pitching and award session of social enterprise competition by Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)

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The top three participants received seed capital. Photos by Denis Nsubuga

Beronda was representing Nyombi Thembo, director of RCDF, as guest of honour during a final pitching and award session of social enterprise competition by Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)

Youth who are nursing ambitions of getting into entrepreneurship have been asked to embrace and incorporate technology into every facet of their ventures if they are to make any headway in this technologically savvy market.

Why technology?

“Technology and growth are inseparable today. In this era, he observed, everything you are going to do, technology is present as a big player,” James Beronda, technical manager of the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF), Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) advised youth venturing or hope to venture into entrepreneurship.

 udges look on as one of the competitors pitches his idea hotos by enis subuga Judges look on as one of the competitors pitches his idea. 

 
The Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) is a Universal Service Fund (USF) to communications in Uganda under the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) that is charged with ensuring access to ICT services for the underserved areas and generally ensuring usage of ICT services in Uganda.

“Ensure you incorporate technology in your day-to-day business operations. Use technology right from doing research on your prospective business venture and market, while marketing your products or service, to communicating with your customers,” Beronda said.

 articipants received certificates Participants received certificates.

 
"Take Internet, for instance, which has numerous opportunities. Firstly, it can be a starting point because you can learn a lot from it. Secondly, you should know that internet is an inevitable influencer in today's competitive market. Therefore, utilize it to grow your clientele, branding and marketing."

Social enterprise competition

Beronda was representing Nyombi Thembo, director of RCDF, as guest of honour during a final pitching and award session of social enterprise competition by Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) at Eureka Place Ntinda, Kampala, recently.

DOT is an international social enterprise headquartered in Canada.

Running under the theme: 'Youth scaling the impact of social innovation', winning teams receive both financial and non-financial support like coaching and mentoring to test and implement their ideas.

At the event, 10 Ugandan youth innovators, selected after a series of orientation and training, pitched their business ideas before a panel of judges. The best three were awarded "seed capital" to invest in their budding projects.

The overall winner, first and second runner-up received sh3m, sh2m and sh1m respectively.

Wastics Recycling Uganda, a nascent company which recycles plastic waste into final products, was announced the overall winner.

The final six best-selected ideas are set to be pitched at the DOT Global UN Conference in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2017.

Natalie Kimbugwe, the DOT Uganda country program manager, advised start-up entrepreneurs to ensure that their business have social impact lest they risk wasting their capital after the market fails to respond.

 he vision bearer of astics ecycling the winning idea receiving her dummy cheque of sh3m The vision bearer of Wastics Recycling, the winning idea receiving her dummy cheque of sh3m.

 
Any business, she advised, must be of importance to the target community, either by solving a certain problem or fulfilling a need.

"Be opened minded to available business opportunities around you. Look around the community, talk to the people and find out what they need. It is worthless if you are bringing nothing unique on the market," she said.

Supported by MasterCard Foundation, this year's competition, which runs in seven countries, has seen various youth entrepreneurs presenting innovative business ideas that aim to solve a need in their community, in a bid to get support.

The other African countries are Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Ghana.

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