Entrepreneurship Challenge Results

This past week, 30 aspiring entrepreneurs came together in Uganda to exchange ideas and compete for the chance to work with Not For Sale and our partners to launch new enterprises. If you missed our first post about this exciting initiative, check it out for more background information on the Entrepreneurship Challenge! 

Central Africa’s Refugee Crisis 

“No one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well”
-Warsan Shire

A refugee crisis doesn’t happen overnight. Refugees don’t leave beloved homes, communities, lives behind unless the situation is dire. Within Central Africa, generations of families have experienced war, unrest, and life in refugee settlements. As soon as one war dies down, another begins. For some, refugee settlements are the only homes they have known. Patrick Chandiga Justine, a Rhino refugee settlements resident, is the third generation of his family to experience life in a refugee settlements:

“In Rhino camp, where I was taken, I vividly recalled the words of grandpa, word by word, as I myself had the exact challenges he talked of. Indeed, life proved and continued to prove hard. Social services such [as] clean water, quality education, good medical services, and social protection were relatively scarce compared to the number of refugees. Coupled with that, inadequate food ratio, fuel (firewood) and even timbers for construction of tukuls (earthen huts) as well as limited farmlands for agricultural purposes. In addition to that, the negative attitude towards refugees by some host communities has created misunderstandings between refugees and host communities hence poor community interrelations.”

Young Entrepreneurs Are The Future Changemakers 

Our entrepreneurship challenge participants shared similar stories with the Not For Sale and Spence Diamond Teams. Each resilient young leader has experienced difficult circumstances and even the loss of loved ones, but they continue to work toward realizing their dreams through hard work and sacrifice.

Out of all the stories told and business ideas pitched, there were three clear standouts for the Not For Sale and Spence Diamonds judges’ panel. Three winners were chosen who demonstrated a passion to improve the circumstances of their communities, and a viable plan to do so. 

Funding Entrepreneurs  

We met so many amazing entrepreneurs who are deserving of support and funding, that we decided to offer awards to six runners-up, split over the following categories: impact, business viability, and education.

Etiene Nkurunziza for his fruit growing business aimed at improving the diets of residents within refugee camps.
Mihigho Maranatha for creating a centre for skill development in electrical and mechanical work.
Ezekiel Kuku for his mission-based butchery that will raise funding for education while creating jobs.
Anjelina Yabu for supplying fish to the refugee community.
Vanessa Ishimwe for her early childhood education program.
And Benjamin Nzabarinda for his work providing early and quality education to children and financial management programs to local farmers.

Planting Seeds of Investment

The term “seed funding” is certainly appropriate as we reflect on the impact that Not For Sale’s investment in young, passionate business owners will have. We have seen the amazing progress that these entrepreneurs have made completely on their own with very few resources available to them. Our team is confident that planting seeds of investment and nurturing each mission-focused enterprise as it thrives will result in an impact-harvest which will be able to reach an exponential number of the most vulnerable within Uganda’s refugee settlement.