IMPACT STORY: Ssenyange Apollo
I am Ssenyange Apollo from Uganda. I am very passionate about community betterment and youth empowerment. I volunteer with various local and international Non-Government organizations like, Uganda Pioneers Association, Ashinaga Rainbow House Uganda, and the Matovu Foundation. I am also a former intern at the Wakiso District Local Government, and I engage in all these activities to make life better for the people around me.I obtained the Ashinaga Africa Initiative scholarship to study in Japan, but I am currently undertaking my Undergraduate degree online due to Covid-related travel restrictions. However, I hope to travel and have my classes in person once the situation gets better.
I had the opportunity to attend the Swiss Re start up academy 2020, which greatly sharpened my entrepreneural skills.
This was an interactive platform for youth entrepreneurs to develop business plans for start-up ideas and we were mentored on various topics including; pitching a start-up in front of investors, identifying customer needs, solutions and Unique selling points, success factor business model, marketing and market analysis, sales, basics of bookkeeping, negotiating, influencing skills and teamwork.
Pictures taken while at the Academy.
We were grouped into six groups and each group was to brainstorm a business idea while incorporating the learnt skills. For my group, our idea was "Comfot Sanitary pads" which is a business idea of providing reusable sanitary pads for school going children in Northern Uganda.
We put our work to a test by participating in the UNICEF Uganda Innovation fund challenge.
I also happen to be the president of the Nansana Cleaning Club, an initially non-profit voluntary youth initiative aiming to seek sustainable measures that will alleviate the ever-existing problem of littering in particular, in Nansana community. Covid-19 had affected the club’s income sources and had left the club’s future blurred.
However, thanks to the Swiss-Re start up academy that challenged me into thinking about turning the club into an income generating business. I shared this idea as well as the acquired knowledge to the club’s committee members who gladly welcomed it. We plan to make the Club sustainable through venturing into paid trash/garbage collection from NGOs in Nansana.
To this day, I keep in touch with colleagues who attended the program. They are taking big steps and doing great initiatives in their communities. Such a network of proactive youth is a treasure this program leaves you with. In addition, we keep in touch with both the local and international mentors who consistently guide us in our business ventures.
I wholeheartedly recommend this entrepreneurship program to all the youth out there because it challenges one’s thinking to identify opportunities and efficiently take advantage of them. Every single person who attended the program has identified a problem in his or her society and is taking positive actions to solve it.
I immensely thank the Swiss-Re insurance company, Aiducation International, Junior Achievement Uganda and the organizers of this program for imparting such transformative and highly constructive knowledge in youths. Surely, your impact is not only benefiting individuals but communities at large. This is information that has since seen our lives change to be more meaningful.
Thank you so much once again.
By Ssenyange Apollo - AiduTalent, Ugandan Chapter