Kampala – Tuesday 07 July 2020: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has in
partnership with Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited launched a Youth4Business Innovation and
Entrepreneurial Facility designed to spur impact-driven entrepreneurship, foster innovation, and
leverage business solutions to address the youth unemployment challenge; and enable micro,
small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The Facility, anchored in the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is an integrated
support package intended to act as a catalyst for innovation by enabling youth pilot and
transform sustainable enterprise ideas and models with a commercial viability into impact at
scale. This will partly address the market failure where financial institutions are reluctant to
provide start-up capital to young entrepreneurs.
A key feature of Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility is the use of blended
finance as a risk-sharing mechanism to stimulate the development of innovative inclusive
business ideas that otherwise would not have taken place within the private sector. The Facility is
also a forward-looking response to the impacts of COVID-19 on MSMEs. It offers MSMEs a
pathway to build back better through novel and sustainable solutions with a commercial
imperative to address today’s complex and dynamic development challenges.
The Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility is a five-year initiative comprising of
three interventions; namely, Innovation Challenge Fund and Growth Accelerator that provides
competitive matching grants necessary to spur impact-driven innovation by the youth and
MSMEs in sectors where growth leads to jobs and Enterprise Challenge Fund which provides
competitive catalytic funding in form of blended finance as a means to incentivize financial
institutions to provide longer-term debt financing to scale commercially viable innovations and
business models. It also has the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem Platform
which is intended to help entrepreneurs begin their journey by providing answers on the key
concepts relevant to enterprise development and affording them the opportunity to acquire
more knowledge about funding and specific information on how to implement innovations.
These interventions will be complemented with an enterprise development and corporate
governance training package, and business development support for the youth-owned
enterprises focused on access to markets, value addition, value chain integrations and increased
resilience. It is envisaged that the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility will
strengthen the capacity of the youth to engage in critical value chains in agriculture, in the digital
economy and in tourism, re-awakening discourse on structural transformation through
industrialization, and strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Uganda.
To implement the initiative, UNDP Uganda will initially partner with Stanbic Bank Uganda and
affiliate entities to kick-start this unique and sustainable solution intended to accelerate progress
towards attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Uganda.
The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Elsie Attafuah, welcomed the facility saying, “Today more
than ever, governments, development institutions and the private sector need to take bolder
steps and adopt innovative approaches to safeguard and create youth employment and
livelihoods by enabling enterprises to emerge more resilient out of the COVID-19 economic fall-
out. To this end, UNDP has initiated a Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurial Facility
aimed at enabling young people work their way out of disadvantage and become contributors to
Speaking at the event, Stanbic Bank Uganda’s Chief Executive Ms. Anne Juuko said, “We are
proud to be in partnership UNDP in a critical initiative supporting young entrepreneurs. Stanbic
Bank will play an instrumental role in this initiative through our Business Incubator, where young
business entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to receive entrepreneurship training and
development. The Stanbic Business Incubator will also drive the Innovation Challenge Fund and
Growth Accelerator, Enterprise Challenge Fund and the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation
“Stanbic will also be providing business financing and will match UNDP with $3 million for debt
financing for the period of the initiative. All the businesses will be supported with setting up
business accounts at the commencement of the initiative and as a result they will be pre-scored
for short-term working capital,” Ms. Juuko added.
“Through this initiative Stanbic Bank is reaffirming its commitment to supporting the growth of
SME’s and we shall continue has put in place key interventions through strategic partnerships
such as this to enable sustainable SME growth and longevity.” She concluded.
About UNDP Uganda
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustices of poverty,
inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170
countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.
In Uganda, UNDP supports the Government to achieve sustainable development, create
opportunities for empowerment, protect the environment, minimise natural and man-made
disasters, build strategic partnerships and improve the quality of life for all citizens.
About Stanbic Bank Uganda
Stanbic Bank Uganda is a member of the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets
with presence in 20 African countries. In Uganda, the Bank provides a full spectrum of financial
services. Its Corporate and Investment Banking division serves a wide range of requirements for
banking, finance, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services investment
banking, global markets, and global transactional products and services.
Stanbic Bank Uganda’s Personal and Business Banking unit offers banking and other financial
services to individuals and small-to-medium enterprises. This unit serves the increasing need
among Africa’s small businesses and individual customers for banking products that can meet
their shifting expectations and growing wealth.