Participants at an Up Accelerate information session in Adjumani district

The United Nations Population Fund Uganda in partnership with Outbox, a local business incubator and Reach A Hand – a youth led organisation have launched another edition of its health based social incubator dubbed “Up Accelerate WAY edition.”

Up Accelerate WAY edition is focused on supporting young people (nationals and refugees) from eight districts of Adjumani, Agago, Amuru, Arua, Kitgum, Lamwo, Moyo, and Yumbe to identify and implement innovative solutions that address challenges in Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Gender Based Violence (GBV). These are This edition is one of the key interventions under the Women, Adolescents and Young people (WAY) programme, that is supported by the Government of Denmark in partnership with the Government of Uganda. The WAY programme is a five year programme (2018-2022) aimed at empowering women and young people in northern Uganda, to contribute to their own and their communities’ development through the realization of their right to live healthy and productive lives.

The overall outcome of the programme is to enhance utilization of SRHR and GBV services among the women and young people in northern Uganda, including refugees, in order to realise their right to live healthy and productive lives. It calls on young people with solutions in the area of Sexual Reproductive Health and Gender Based Violence towards improving access to — context-appropriate, timely and accurate information and education, essential health services and supplies for women and young people; and integrated approaches towards reducing alcohol and substance abuse.

Some of the participants at an information session in Adjumani district

Young people selected to participate in the social innovation incubator will receive business training, mentorship from industry experts, technical guidance and seed funding of up-to UGX 18 Million per team to enable them realise their dreams. Eight teams will be selected to join the social innovation incubator over a period of one year for the first cycle of this edition.

“Up Accelerate WAY edition provides an avenue for talented young people in the Northern and West Nile region of Uganda to tap into innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities that are otherwise limited to major urban cities of Uganda. Outbox is excited to be part of such bold initiatives,” says Richard Zulu, Lead at Outbox.

Participants at an Up Accelerate information session – Adjumani district

To participate, one can visit the website at ​http://way.upaccelerate.co.ug or any of our partners that include Amelo Technical School in Adjumani district, Passion for community (P4C) in Agago district, Atiak Technical Institute in Amuru district, Muni University in Arua district, Kitgum Technical Institute in Kitgum district, Padibe Health

Centre in Lamwo district, Moyo Technical Institute in Moyo district and Lokopio Hills Technical Institute in Yumbe district to pick a free application form.

Up Accelerate is a UNFPA flagship innovations incubator that seeks to support the next generation of young Ugandan entrepreneurs along their journey of leadership of innovations for social change.

So far, 25 young people and seven teams have been supported to incubate their innovations. These young entrepreneurs launched social businesses that currently serve up-to 70,000 beneficiaries and nine health facilities. The businesses went on to raise UGX 185 Million in additional funding on graduation from their incubation.