Promoting self-employment through entrepreneurship financing: Lessons from the Uganda Youth Venture Capital Fund.
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Youth unemployment continues to be a developmental challenge not only in Uganda but in several sub Saharan countries. Ugandan youth (18-30 years) are twice likely to be unemployed compared to their older counterparts (31- 64 years). As the government struggles to look for solutions to the unemployment challenge, one approach has been the promotion of self-employment through the establishment of National Youth Funds. Specifically, the Youth Venture Capital Fund (UYVCF) worth UGX 25bn (about US$ 10 million) was introduced in 2011 and more recently, in September 2013, government significantly boosted youth schemes by allocating UGX 265 billion (about US$ 100 million) to the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) over a five-year period.1 The major pillars of these initiatives are: enterprise development, job creation and business skills training and development. Using the UYVCF as a case study, this brief examines the level and determinants of youth participation in the fund and evaluates the operations of the fund against the initial guidelines and procedures as stipulated in the Aide memoire 3 between the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development and the participating banks. Furthermore, this brief summaries lessons on emerging youth fund implementation practices in a few chosen countries that could inform the improvement of existing youth funds in Uganda. We majorly relied on secondary data provided by the largest commercial bank –Centenary Bank- participating in the fund and was complemented by a survey of beneficiaries as well as potential beneficiaries.
- Social Sciences