Given the fruits which can easily be yielded and enjoyed as a result of successful collaborations/partnerships, Makerere University School of Public Health-ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), the Business Innovations for Good and the Open Impact Institute host the
OpenEd Fellowship program. Since 2016, this fellowship has been empowering instigators, innovators and change makers in business, leadership and sustainable development while inspiring climate action. Specifically, the fellowship has been training and supporting entrepreneurs with multidisciplinary tools, resources and mentorship skills.
Over the past two years, over 30 fellows have benefitted from this fellowship program in two different cohorts. Proudly! Our third cohort started June 2018 and will run until the end of August 2018 engaging with another 15 fellows. Our alumni have not only had the opportunity to tap into the deep expertise of the multidisciplinary facilitators and mentors to accelerate their sustainable businesses, but also challenged and inspired their peers and facilitators for further growth and development. ‘Our alumni are the reason we have a resounding commitment to pushing further even beyond our limits to support more business innovators and social entrepreneurs’ shared Deborah Naatujuna, RAN Engagement Manager. It is important to note that the OpenEd Fellowship Program was born out of a partnership with Laura Richards, alumni of the AidData Summer Fellowship Program. Laura patiently takes off time from her busy schedules to join other facilitators to physically support and deliver some sessions to the fellows here in Uganda. The OpenEd Fellowship program is run every Friday for 2 hours in the RAN lab.
What is the Problem?
Nearly 1 in 2 Ugandans is unemployed or under-employed. With 500,000 Ugandans entering the job market yearly, the problem is only getting worse. There are, however, Ugandans building businesses and creating economic opportunities to combat this ballooning issue.
Business Innovations for Good exists to help agribusiness SME’s build finance-ready businesses that can scale, generate profits and employ others. Since 2016, we have worked with 43 SME’s through our OpenEd Fellowship, training them in sustainable business development. We ran 2 pilots, incorporated learnings from these programs and now have a turn key model to business development. The program is 3-phased and involves:
(1) Extensive business assessment,
(2) 13 weeks of business training and
(3) 1 year of mentorship.
We support 15-20 SME’s per year to build capacity, create jobs and increase agricultural output.
“In South Africa for Obama Foundation Leaders Program. Gratitude to OpenEd team for all the training that engineered the way to tackle societal problems.”
- Mushusha Richard, Obama Fellow and CAES Agriculture Exhibition winner
What is the OpenEd Fellowship?
OpenEd Fellowship is convened by Business Innovations for Good and Open Impact Institute and supported and hosted by ResilientAfrica Network at Makerere University.
OpenEd promotes SME agribusiness growth, focusing on women and youth, by developing local capacity through business management training. Supporting female and youth entrepreneurs to scale businesses brings them into the formal economy, improving not only the lives of our fellows (current: 40+), but also that of their staff (current: 400+), and clients (63,000+).
Our mission is to create prosperous business communities and healthy ecosystems in East Africa. Our work is about building job growth and agricultural capacity, as well as equality.
Our key goals:
- Enable 250 SME’s to become finance-ready, scalable & sustainably-run by 2028.
- Create 5,000 jobs in agribusiness through SME capacity development by 2028.
Every $1 invested in OpenEd yielded $2.32 raised by alumni in our first 2 years.
Graduates raised over $20,000 USD in the last 5 months and are internationally awarded by World Bank, Obama Foundation, UN Women and World Agricultural Summit. Alumni serve 63,000+ clients, including Apple and Microsoft. 50% of alumni are women.
“It is an ecosystem of motivators, challengers, supporters and inspirers’ like you that make us soar!”
- Gudula Naiga Basaza, won UDB I-Grow Accelerator with RAN (25mm UGX)
What do we do?
OpenEd is a year-long SME development program and uses a 3-phased approach:
Phase 1: SME’s complete pre-training assessment and meet with the OpenEd team to determine core challenges and training needs. Curriculum is tailored in response and SMEs are paired with mentors with relevant expertise.
Phase 2: SME’s engage in 13 weeks of practical courses that emphasize the salient features of scalable and sustainable business models.
Phase 3: SME’s continue to work with their mentors for at least one year who help SME’s integrate learnings into their businesses and remain accountable to their strategic plan.
Courses include: Startup Financing & Financial Management, Business Modeling, Design Thinking, Digital Marketing & Sales, Environmental Sustainability, and Team Building & Leadership. Additional courses are also added in response to the participants’ specific needs.
“I wish everyone could access OpenEd Fellowship.”
- Ambrose Kamya, won UN Women and RAN funded incubation program