It is my sincere belief that we need to overhaul the Youth Development Fund and make it more economical than political and social. The only way to alleviate the problem this initiative was created for is to be more robust in being more economical than political.
We should allow this initiative to be overseen by both the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and that of Investment, Trade and Industry. This is to ensure we sync the programs in a seamless way from both ends.
2. Stop trying to fund out of school youth in the context that is meant to help the youth that is very diverse in its nature. You may have an out of school youth who just does not have the entrepreneur genes in them whilst you have a working youth or schooling youth who is a true employer at heart and can diligently execute.
3. The team needs to have a public private partnership with select private entities to assist in monitoring of the business while possibly providing a myriad of solutions such as mentorship, investment ideas and allowing for people in similar industries in one location to partner.
4. Judgement of business ideas needs to be done by a varied team of experts whether hired as government employees or otherwise, instead of officers who do not even understand the running of an entity except pushing paper in the office. This means you need practicing accountants to assist in financials projections evaluations, while Human Resource specialists try and decipher the HR plans and then have industry experts assisting in each particular industry in terms of covering the key aspects of running the business.
5. Accountability is key in executing such a program and the applicants must be made to understand this particular element.
6. I believe this should be a non-stop exercise where the only limit is budget allowing companies to be ranked and placed on a waiting list while receiving mentorship to really get to clear the issues that put them at a certain level on the list. This will reduce this running around of people every time awaiting an opening date.
7. The waiting list above should be used as a way to also advise those eligible to consider such platforms as CEDA after the mentorship.
8. Again, let’s consolidate the business plans required from all institutions being banks and CEDA and LEA. Lets stop trying to duplicate our efforts.
9. In addition, the Youth Expo that is done by the ministry should equally start by pulling all funded companies to be showcased with proof of growth from when it was funded. The success stories have to be documented.
10. Last but not least, it will be worth noting we require to really promote entrepreneurship with the aim to overcome the harsh economic conditions that big companies face. Let’s have more accountability and better ways to determine the scalability of the funded businesses while also maitaining statistics on those funded businesses that have paid back their loans.
Michael Kanyendula Segolodi