Training Business-Savvy Innovators in East Africa

Collaborating with Uganda's National Council for Science and Technology Entrepreneur Training Program

How might we boost the capacity of Ugandan innovators to achieve commercial success?

Problem

Launching a successful business venture can prove challenging under the best of conditions.  Doing so in a country like Uganda – where the informal economy dominates, and business support such as financing can be hard to come by – proves another challenge entirely. Becoming a successful entrepreneur in this environment takes guts, a worthwhile idea, and tenacity. The skills needed to bring solutions to the private sector aren’t usually addressed in formal educational settings.  As such, researchers and innovators are frequently under-prepared to take their potentially life-changing ideas to market.

Solution

“I learned how to formulate our value proposition.  After outlining [the value proposition], it opened my mind as to how great innovators think.”  -Participant

The innovators identified by our partner, the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, were new to the business world. GKI led these participants through an introduction to entrepreneurship, focusing on the many unique challenges facing Ugandan innovators.  Through the training, participants gained hands-on instruction on topics such as developing their value proposition, understanding their customers, and testing their ideas.  The training pushed the innovators to apply these concepts to their own ventures, thus boosting the take-home value for those who participated.

Results / Outcomes

  • Trained 50 Ugandan innovators across 2 cohorts
  • Introduced 5 innovation tools to participants
  • Saw a nearly 3x increase in participants’ understanding of core business practices after completion of the training
  • Helped the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology to pilot the entrepreneurship training program, demonstrating its value to Uganda’s research and business communities
  • Improved the entrepreneurial aptitude of government-funded Ugandan researchers aspiring to innovate solutions