By Mark Kawalya
Nsindika Njake, a motoring term loosely translated to mean giving a driver a push so he can jumpstart a troublesome car, is the name of an entrepreneurship show targeting youth with skills in an effort to combat unemployment. The workmanship of a partnership between MTN and Makerere University Business School, participants will undergo rigorous training and compete in a series of business related tasks that will see the winner walk home with a cash prize of Shs60 million, which they will invest in a business.
The show will be broadcasted on a number of local TV stations, while some radio stations will host Nsindika Njake segments that will give the public an opportunity to answer questions and win some mobile money.
The overarching objective of the show is to boost entrepreneurial acumen among the youth, one of the ways to alleviate youth unemployment that is prevalent in the country.
Currently, with the world’s second youngest population having over 78% below the age of 30, youth unemployment in Uganda stands at over 60%. This is in contrast to the more than 400,000 young people who enter the job market annually, scrambling for a paltry 52,000 formal jobs.
Making entrepreneurship the most sustainable method of providing meaningful employment opportunities for this demographic is clearly a sensible strategy. Regrettably, at present most of these startups do not live to see their second year for a number of reasons, the chief of which is the perennial lack of entrepreneurial skills.
At the launch of the Nsindika Njake programme that was held at the MTN Uganda headquarters, MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Somdev Sen, said that the show would be a tool to address some of the unemployment challenges that the youth face.
“Given the high rate of youth unemployment, many young people have taken the right path of starting small businesses, but unfortunately, the majority of them have not had the opportunity to get the skills required to effectively operate a business. Somdev said that this show will teach them how to navigate the day-to-day challenges that they face in their businesses and set them on a path to becoming better entrepreneurs.
The show will feature 12 participants (small business owners) who will be mentored and trained by the MUBS entrepreneurship and small business center. They will thereafter be engaged in a competition to solve business-related challenges that will be premised on what they have learned over the 12-week training period.
According to the Director of MUBS Entrepreneurship Innovation and Incubation Center, the Nsindika Njake program is unique because it focuses on both classroom and experiential learning that will harness the entrepreneur’s full potential.