The POWER (Providing Opportunities for Women in Entrepreneurship and Reproductive Health) Pilot Project is a joint initiative funded by Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) and led by Action 4 Health Uganda (A4HU) for women entrepreneurs and business leaders who are addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Family Planning (FP) challenges in Uganda. The nine-month pilot provides training, capacity development, and mentoring for twelve women entrepreneurs aged 18-30 towards developing sustainable businesses in SRHR/FP.
The call for applications was launched through partners, key stakeholders, youth clubs, youth groups, and social media platforms. The Pilot project, which commenced in June 2022 to February 2023, is currently being scaled up for the second cohort of young women entrepreneurs.
With the support of Capital Solutions Limited (CSL), a Ugandan-based social enterprise company, the POWER project aims to provide twelve young women business leaders with skills to grow their enterprises in FP/SRHR. The women entrepreneurs are linked to a mentorship program, an alumni network created by the first cohort, local business networks, academic institutions, the public sector, and international networks to ensure access to ongoing information and services to help expand their enterprises.
The 2018 Mastercard Index of Women's Entrepreneurship showed that Ugandan women are the third most enterprising globally, behind Ghana and Russia. Through POWER, we aim to capture the passion and drive of these young women to create sustainable business models while addressing SRHR challenges. This Accelerator project will transform the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) landscape in Uganda and provide innovative ways to tackle poverty among the youth in Uganda.
The POWER pilot's success has enabled the establishment of an Incubation Hub at The Bonita Training Center, located at our head offices on Lubowa Hill, off the Kampala-Entebbe Highway. These women-led FP/SRHR business start-ups will be developed and launched at this hub. The women entrepreneurs will work towards a "Demo Day" to pitch their ideas to a broad audience of influencers to attract public interest, new investors, and partners. At the end of the program, the participants will be awarded certificates, with the five top enterprises receiving a monetary prize to accelerate their businesses. After the young women complete the program, they will receive continued mentorship, coaching, and business development support from A4HU, with an opportunity to join the Alumni network and benefit from the POWER Investment Facility (PIF) to access Investment financing for their startups. Outstanding entrepreneurs will be assessed for certification as business coaches and mentors to join the A4HU to mentor and coach other women and youth in business.