KAMPALA – A hundred schools, including 40 maiden participants, have been selected countrywide to compete in the 8th edition of the Stanbic National Entrepreneurship Contest with government-owned entities dominating entries, taking 57 slots.
Over 60,000 students are expected to partake in the business ideas challenge under the theme—of powering innovation for job creation; winners in four categories will be announced in H2 of 2023.
Schools in central Uganda dominated the entries with an impressive 25 slots, 21 for Eastern Uganda, while 18, and 17 slots went to Western and Northern Uganda—respectively. These will see their students pitch business ideas under the “Start-up category.”
The Stanbic National Entrepreneurship Championship is a four-category competition including students, (Startup Challenge); schools with existing businesses BizGrow Challenge); alumni (AlumGrow Challenge) and teachers (TeachGrow Challenge).
The annual challenge, now in its eighth year, is aimed at empowering and equipping the participants into a generation of innovative job creators with knowledge and life skills such as managing personal finance, entrepreneurship, and business management.
Cathy Adengo, Stanbic Uganda Head of Sustainability said, “to sustainably drive Uganda’s growth, we must invest in a reliable pipeline of innovative entrepreneurs to build a new generation of businesses and create high-quality jobs for the millions of young Ugandans completing school every year; this work requires everyone’s contribution and Stanbic Uganda is doing its bit through this entrepreneurship challenge.”
Diana Ondoga, Stanbic Bank’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, “we are particularly pleased to see forty new schools join the competition for the very first time, this goes to show the growth in interest over the last seven years; another highlight is the dominance of government-owned schools who have taken 57 of the 100 slots available—we can’t wait to see the level of innovation they show in their respective pitches.”
Elve Nshuti, 22-year-old alumni of the programme said, “My life has since been transformed by this competition and I am thankful to Stanbic Bank and all the collaborators behind this initiative. My tech company I-Tech Africa is thriving, and I have gained more exposure equitably to customers through the championship. I’ve learned to be responsible and empowered, valuing collaboration over division and long-term gain over short-term gain because this is how my future will be bright.”
Since its inception in 2015, the Stanbic National Entrepreneurship Championship 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 born from the ideas submitted—nearly 100 which are actively running student-led enterprises and have received capital grants from the championship investor-relations initiatives that help link bankable ideas to financing.
Participating students will have to compete in several qualifying rounds, including attending a boot camp after which a winner is identified at a grand finale in September.