MoTIV Uganda has launched ‘Tools to Create’ asset financing facility for Uganda’s creative industry, targeting youth in creative enterprises looking to increase their production capacity, launch new product lines, invest in new technology and expand their distribution networks across the country.
The facility was officially launched by the PS Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Mr. Aggrey Kibenge, who emphasized the need to equip the youth with skills. Kibenge told press, opening up the facility will increase the skills of the youth with the tools provided to them.
“The Tools to Create facility presents a pathway to mitigate the estimated 64% of unemployed youth. We have no choice but to advocate for increased skilling of our youth. It is of great advantage that one of the pathways to receive the tools is inclusive of an academy that provides early-stage businesses with skills before receiving the tools,” Kibenge notes.
The Team Lead at MoTIV; Japheth Kawanguzi noted that the facility will be able to provide financing for businesses in the creative industry to be able to restructure interrupted supply chains, increase production capacity, diversify offerings and increase market share.
“Uganda’s labour force is largely under the age of 30 accounting for almost 70% of Uganda’s population which in turn has led to a strain in job opportunities for the youth. In the midst of all this, the young generation brews with creativity which has inspired an investment in the acquisition of different skills that require tools to actually get work done. The ‘Tools to Create’ facility is meant to support young people to affordably improve their skills, plan and transition the acquired skills to tangible work which enables earning a living,” said Kawanguzi.
Kawanguzi said that Uganda has great potential in the creative industry and can be a pillar for our country’s socio-economic development. He also noted that, “The Covid-19 pandemic has only highlighted the opportunities within the sector and the need for creative thinking, innovation and problem solving for our community’s’ most pressing challenges.”
Kawanguzi concluded saying that the creative sector provides an opportunity to stimulate diversification, support the burgeoning manufacturing and services sector, support entrepreneurship, and contribute to cultural diversity including the fast adoption in digital transformation.
The Mastercard Foundation Lead Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Arnold Byarugaba noted the need to industrialize creativity with the hope that youth undertake new industrial ventures for future transformation of their society.
“The creative sector is one of the fastest growing and innovative sectors. We need to be deliberate in supporting the youth to transform our socio-economic status by providing an enabling system that supports access to market, finance, protection of patent rights, access to networking and collaboration, governance on innovation and access to knowledge and training,” Byarugaba said.
The Tools to Create facility will be executed through three tracks including an academy that seeks to provide prior training for early-stage business before receiving the tools, cottage industry and those within the creative industry. The first cohort will benefit over 150 businesses countrywide.
In 2019 at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, 2021 was declared the International Year of Creative Economy for sustainable development to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, foster innovation and provide opportunities, benefits and empowerment for all.
Kibenge has encouraged the youth to embrace and take advantage of the Tools to Create facility.