At least four Ugandan start-up groups have been awarded USD 10000 each, to assist them in the development of transformative solutions to tackle persistent sexual and reproductive health bottlenecks in the country.
Launched in November 2016, a total of sixty-two (62) teams submitted their solutions to the program. The solutions would later be subjected to a public voting and shortlisting by an expert panel of judges who selected a team ten (10) semi-finalists.
“We were impressed by the response and level of engagement of young people despite the complexity of the problem areas within which we wanted them to propose solutions,” said Richard Zulu, Outbox Team Lead.
“The amount of conversation, feedback and effort exhibited during the application period is testimony to the demand of programmes like Up Accelerate among the young people in Uganda,” he added.
The four winners include Teheca, Drug Dash, Snap HMIS and IDrain.
Teheca is a mobile app that enables one to find the closest and most qualified caretaker that best suits their care needs from a pool of qualified caretakers.
Snap HMIS is a mobile application that helps hospital data clerks compile health management information system (HMIS) reports accurately and in real time.
IDrain is an improved chest drainage system which removes the pleural effusion contents of mothers.
Drug Dash is an information system to help health centres and distribution centers manage essential medicines and health supplies (EMHS) stock levels through analytical dashboards that support quick decision making.
Increasingly, entrepreneurship, self-employment, start-ups and other creative solutions are being recognized as avenues to address existing youth unemployment issues and to enable young Ugandans to participate in the social and economic growth of Uganda.
According to the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics, over 26 million people in the country are below the age of 30 years; thus little can be achieved if the potential of young people is not harnessed.
Up Accelerate, a UK Aid-funded program, seeks to empower young micro-entrepreneurs to turn their business ideas into healthcare start-ups that address persistent sexual and reproductive health challenges.
The initiative is implemented by Outbox in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and supported by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and National Guidance.
The four (4) selected finalist teams will be supported with business development and mentorship, receive $10,000 USD in seed funding per team, and undergo intensive mentorship for a period of four (4) months to turn their ideas into sustainable, market ready products or services.