Sixty-four students of Pope John II College Laliya have successfully completed the Entrepreneurship Essentials Course. The sixty-four students were drawn from senior one, two and three. The 64 students were awarded certificates of completion on Tuesday 1st December in a brief ceremony held at the school.

The Entrepreneurship Essentials Course is a six topic, six-week, computer-based training program. The Entrepreneurship Essentials Course helps to equip learners with basic skills in business and entrepreneurship. All participants who go through the course are able to perform basic business operations such as drawing business plans, marketing, costing and pricing, keeping records, business management and other basic functions.

Youth in Uganda are the youngest population in the world, with 77% of its population being under 30 years of age (Population Action International, 2013). There are 7,310,386 youth from the ages of 15–24 years of age living in (Uganda Youth Statistics, 2013). Many of the youth were therefore optimistic that the skills they had acquired through this course would enable them to be self-employed and self sufficient in life.

A brief interaction with the youth just before they received their certificates of completion revealed the following;

On what motivated them to participate in the course:

Ocen Brian: “I wanted skills to start a successful business”.

Otim Nebin: “Entrepreneurs cannot fail in life. I joined the course because I wanted skills to start and operate a business”.

Omoya Louis Herbert: “To get self-employment through my own business”.

Ajok Prisca: “To have a future improved standard of living through a good business”.

On what they liked most about the Entrepreneurship Course, the students had the following to say:

Turyatunga Emmanuel: “The way the teachers trained us was very good and enabled us to easily get the tips for managing a business”.

Arach Irene: “I liked the fact that the course can instill a lot of confidence in a person to start a business”.

Wokorach Patrick: “The teachers used videos and other teaching aids that made learning very easy”.

Kizza Ray: “I liked the fact that I can do basic accounting in a business”.

Obong Emmanuel: “The teachers taught us how to be persistent and never give up when starting a business”.

Ocaya Moses: “I used to think that starting and managing a business was very difficult but after attending the course I now believe it is possible.”

To further boost the program, BOSCO Uganda has started a new initiative called the Bosco Uganda Entrepreneurship Club. The club aims to bring aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners together to create a community where entrepreneurs can collaborate and share successes and challenges with each other. One of the main activities of the Entrepreneurship Club is the Entrepreneurship Essentials class based on the Skills to Succeed curriculum developed by Accenture Foundation and specifically tailored towards Ugandan entrepreneurs.

As members of the Entrepreneurship Club, participants will:
• Have the opportunity to gain knowledge and expand their business skills.
• Learn about opportunities for business loans, accounting best practices and more.
• Network with entrepreneurs and business leaders in their community.
• Develop and get feedback on their business plans.
• Practice pitching their business ideas by presenting to the club.
• Find a local mentor, or get a mentor through Accenture, one of America’s top professional consulting firms.
• Hear about local entrepreneurial success stories and get inspired!

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