Empowering East Africa's Youth through the East Africa Social Business Ecosystem Builders Project

The East Africa Social Business Ecosystem Builders Project, a collaborative effort between Yunus Centre and YY Ventures,

is set to revolutionize the way the region addresses its social and financial challenges. This transformative project aims to equip East Africa's ecosystem builders with the necessary skills and knowledge to support the region's youth and cultivate an entrepreneurial environment conducive to groundbreaking solutions. With a vision to empower the youth and encourage entrepreneurship as a tool for sustainable growth, this ambitious project has received an overwhelming response, with 70 applications pouring in from passionate individuals and teams to join a rigorous, two month-long learning journey.

Out of the impressive pool of applicants, 13 top teams have been carefully selected to join intensive workshops and training for capacity building, learning and sharing. These workshops will provide participants with the tools, insights, and expert guidance needed to design or strengthen their own entrepreneurship support programs. Through the mentorship of seasoned professionals, these ecosystem builders will gain a deep understanding of the concept of social business and its potential to create positive change in East Africa.

The workshops will cover various aspects crucial to building a thriving social business ecosystem. Participants will learn how to develop and implement social business incubation programs, as well as organize idea competitions to foster innovation within their communities. Furthermore, they will gain valuable insights on cultivating successful partnerships, mobilizing resources efficiently, and managing and measuring the impact of their social business support programs.

Through this initiative, Yunus Centre and YY Ventures are paving the way for a brighter future, where East Africa's youth can unlock their potential and contribute to the region's development. By harnessing the power of social business, these young changemakers will be equipped to tackle the most pressing issues of our time, driving economic growth and social progress in East Africa.

Meet the Participants:

250STARTUPS INCUBATOR Ltd. is a multi‐partner incubation and acceleration hub enabling tech startups at an early stage to develop a proof of concept, while also supporting operating startups to be investment ready through a tailored program. Learn more about them here

African Leadership University (ALU) is pioneering a fresh approach to higher education in the 21st century, offering accredited undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education programs in a unique and imaginative way. Learn more about them here

Bridging Gaps Microloans aims to empower local entrepreneurs and lift them out of poverty by using a human-centred approach. Bridging Gaps connects entrepreneurs from underserved communities with private sector companies to finance their projects. Learn more about them here

Cube Zanzibar is a start-up and business enabler that offers incubation services, financing, and business acceleration support to start-ups and small businesses in Zanzibar. They help bring ideas to life and aim to stimulate innovation to create long term economic growth. Learn more about them here

Entrepreneurship for Impact Africa (E4Impact) is a not-for-profit organization that trains a new generation of impact entrepreneurs in emerging countries, with a focus on the African continent. E4Impact has headquarters in Nairobi and offices in three other counties, with active projects in 15 counties. Learn more about them here

MDF Training and Consultancy: Eastern and Southern Africa provides learning trajectories, advisory guidance, facilitation, evaluations, enterprise development, and partnership services worldwide. Their mission is to empower people and create impact. Learn more about them here

Patapia provides tailored services to the vulnerable members of society and drives them towards economic independence. They train refugee women in business, match them with quality mentors and give them access to friendly collateral-free financing for starting businesses. Learn more about them here

Tangaza University College’s Institute for Social Transformation (IST) was founded in 1994 by Comboni missionaries. IST serves as a centre of excellence and innovation for transformative ministerial learning and social transformation, and empowers agents of social transformation to discover their personal and communitarian calling. Learn more about them here

Tanzania Bora Initiative (TBI) is a youth-lead NGO that champions youth agency, livelihoods and supports youth leadership. TBI is committed to nurture youth innovation, realize gender equality and disability inclusion, promote youth voices, identify opportunities for youth, and foster youth leadership in governance and economic spaces. Learn more about them here

United Social Ventures is committed to empowering social entrepreneurs to build sustainable and impactful businesses. To achieve this, they offer a range of services including business development, financial modeling, market analysis, and impact measurement. Learn more about them here

Villgro Africa is an incubator and impact investor supporting emerging businesses in the health and life sciences. Since it was founded in 2015, Villgro Africa has supported over 50 companies, provided $2 million in seed funding, and has catalyzed almost $23 million in follow-on funding. Learn more about them here

Westerwelle Foundation Tanzania is one-stop centre to support entrepreneurship in Tanzania combining local expertise and international networks. In partnership with Westerwelle Foundation International, they offer a fully equipped and easily accessible working environment and run incubation and acceleration programs to support entrepreneurs from various sectors. Learn more about them here

WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY UGANDA (WITU) supports communities to inspire, skill, mentor, and support young women to realize their dreams and improve their lives. Their holistic theory of change looks at a young woman’s life from a 360 angle- attaching strong importance to building the ability for start-up and expansion of enterprises; acquisition of gainful employment driven by innovation, and eventually promoting their economic status and livelihoods through the digital economy. Learn more about them here


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