KAMPALA – The First Lady and Minister of Education Janet Museveni has commended Stanbic Bank for supporting government’s effort to skill young Ugandans through its annual National Schools Championship (NSC).
Mrs. Museveni also lauded Stanbic Bank Uganda for working closely with the Ministry of Education to support schools manage the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic which forced the entire sector out of work for nearly two years.
She made the remarks on Wednesday while flagging off the seventh edition of the NSC at Kololo Independent Grounds. “For seven years now the National Schools Championship has helped unlock the entrepreneurial abilities of thousands of students by providing them with useful skills that give them the self-confidence to become the job creators of tomorrow,” she said.
The National Schools’ Championships were first launched in 2016 the same year the First Lady was appointed to the Education and Sports Ministry. “I congratulate the Stanbic Bank management for sustaining this noble initiative for the last seven years; I urge schools to encourage their students to take full advantage of the opportunities that the NSC platform provides,” she said.
She added, “through the many engagements with the Ministry, I thank Stanbic under Anne Juuko’s leadership, for being the only commercial bank to waive off accrued unpaid interest in 2021 on loans owed by schools. The Ministry and government, generally, appreciates your efforts.”
Committed to Uganda’s growth
Anne Juuko, the Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank said, “in line with our purpose─driving Uganda’s growth, we have deliberately made the education sector one of the three pillars of our corporate social investment through which we create sustainable shared community value.”
Juuko added that beyond the NSC which has attracted over 100 schools with a combined student participation anticipated to reach 60, 000 learners, Stanbic Bank has also invested in a bespoke facility through which schools can access affordable credit to rebuild after the pandemic.
“We thank the First Lady for honouring the work of Stanbic Bank in Uganda, by gracing this ceremony with her presence. We acknowledge that being a Ugandan business it is our responsibility to continue investing in initiatives such as the NSC, to reaffirm our corporate citizenship in this country,” said Juuko.
The NSC is a four-tier competition involving new schools (Startup Challenge); schools with existing businesses BizGrow Challenge); alumni AlumGrow Challenge) and teachers (TeachGrow Challenge).
“For this year, we are running under the theme ‘Empowering the Job Creators of Tomorrow’ and we encourage participants to pitch business ideas that are climate smart in line with Stanbic Bank Uganda’s sustainability strategy,” said Cathy Adengo, the Bank’s Head of Sustainability.
For the seventh edition, the selected schools come from Eastern (22), Western (21), Northern (17) and Central (25). The BizGrow category has 15 nominees.
Launched in 2016, the NSC has registered growth each year from 32 schools participating in the inaugural year to over 100 (since 2020) with over 600 student business ideas generated.
At least 200 businesses have since been set up from the ideas submitted—90 of the 187 actively running student-led enterprises have received capital grants from the championship investor-relations initiatives that help link bankable ideas to financing.