The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) today launched its 12th Career Expo together with partners MTN Uganda, The Innovation Village, and Absa Bank — which is set to equip university students with knowledge and skills that will enable them to explore opportunities in technology for business and career development.
The expo which will be held from April 27-29 at Motiv was launched by NSSF Managing Director, Mr. Richard Byarugaba at Motiv in Kampala. The launch came after a thorough panel discussion that discussed the theme “Technopreneurship in the Future of Work”. The theme was discussed by NSSF Managing Director; Mr. Richard Byarugaba, Absa Bank Managing Director; Mumba Kenneth Kalifungwa, MTN Uganda General Manager Human Resources; Michale Sekadde, and Japheth Kawanguzi, Founder & Team Lead at The Innovation Village.
Speaking at the launch of the expo, Byarugaba intimated that youth weren’t benefitting as much from the new emerging technologies because the current education system hadn’t prepared them well. He went on to advise university students to take on a holistic approach when venturing into business, citing available support offered by the NFFS’s Hi-innovator program.
“NSSF is deliberately focusing its sustainability agenda on helping youth to take full advantage of these new and emerging technologies while being resilient in the age of disruption. We are doing this through our innovation program, Hi-innovator, and financial literacy,” notes Byarugaba.
Byarugaba also noted that youth ought to skill themselves first to better understand how to operate a startup in this economy. “Having an idea alone is not a guarantee that your business will be successful. You need to start by skilling yourself to better understand how to operate a startup in this economy.” He adds “Be intentional in looking for and taking advantage of programs that support young innovators even before you complete your university degree. In this way, you will be equipped to run a successful startup.”
Mumba Kenneth Kalifungwa advised all those that will be participating in the 3-day career expo to seek ample knowledge of the business they are venturing into and to have the financial acumen to run a successful business. “An innovator will struggle to find a market for their products if it doesn’t offer a solution to any community problems. As an entrepreneur, you need to start with identifying the problem you are trying to address,” explained Kalifungwa.
Japheth Kawanguzi also urged participants to take advantage of technology to execute their ideas. “Having an idea is not enough but for you to translate these ideas into a business, you need capital, investments, and proper execution,” he says. Adds “Therefore, by leveraging on technology, which is the engine of our economy, you can create value, attract investments and venture capitalism which will turn this amazing idea into a full-blown business.”
Michael Sekadde who represented MTN Uganda CEO, Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte at the launch of the expo added to Kawanguzi’s remarks noting that technology is important to entrepreneurs. “I believe that all potential entrepreneurs must embrace technology and also invest in innovation because if you are to survive in a competitive landscape that we live in, is all going to be about digitization and technology.”
Sekadde added that living in a digital era — tech-savvy entrepreneurs will make money through digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, to mention a few. “Today, you don’t need a brick and mortar office or rent an office space to be able to transact or run a business. You can work from anywhere at any time to reach your customers — and you can do that with just a click of a button on your smartphone or computer.”
Sekadde concluded the panel session by saying that the young people have a competitive advantage because they are tech-savvy and understand technology faster than the old generation to be able to build a brand.
Throughout the 3-day career expo, topics that include Building a Career in Tech, Unlocking Your Creativity, How to Start a Startup, and Building a Personal & Business Brand will be discussed in detail for the students.
The NSSF Career Expo offers a platform for students to network and learn from established industry experts for career advancement, entrepreneurship, employment positioning, financial literacy, and personal growth beyond their studies at the university. Students are also exposed to the world of savings as a discipline with a focus on saving for retirement at an early age.
Now in its 12th year, the NSSF Career Expo has impacted over 300,000 to date helping them kickstart their journey to financial security, entrepreneurship, and career growth.