Following a 3-months exciting entrepreneurship training program, MTN Uganda in collaboration with Makerere University Business School (MUBS), this Wednesday announced the overall winners in the Nsindika Njake ne MTN TV entrepreneurship series that have been showing on NBS TV. The overall winner walks away with Ushs 60,000,000 that they’ll inject back into their businesses over a one-year period.
The reality TV show task-oriented series, has equipped participants with the skills and exposure to position their businesses, commonly referred to as hustles, for future growth and excellence. Jovan Kagenzi scooped the grand cash prize of 60 million shillings set to push his cook-stove business to the next level, backed by the cutting-edge business skills he has acquired from the 3 months-long training. Kagezi invented a charcoal stove connected to a chimney and a biogas source providing clean cooking energy to the end-users. Kagezi’s business also makes charcoal briquettes at affordable prices, targeting households, schools, restaurants and hotels.
Joy and excitement overwhelmed the families and friends of Jovan Kagezi. The overwhelmed Kagezi walked to the stage with a jubilant team clapping for his achievement. While giving a vote of thanks, Kagezi knelt down and joyfully thanked MTN, judges, and partners for finding him appropriate to handle the 60 million shillings. “Thank you everyone for considering my hustles and filling huge gaps in my business with skills and financial support,” said Kagezi and he accompanied it with a praise song. Being announced the first runner-up accompanied with a 20 million cheque, David Kasaali together with his team happily thanked MTN and all the partners who have made this project a success. The youthful proprietor has promised to invest the cash in his company dubbed Psalms4, which deals in processing and packaging ground-nuts.
Shakirah Nassejje emerged as the second runner-up and won a 10 million cheque that saw her thanking Allah, MTN, the trainers, friends, and family who encouraged her in her journey. With 10Million guaranteed for her craft-making business, the 19 year-old entrepreneur vows to take her business to the next level. In third and fourth place was Joseph Kwesiga, who also doubled as the People’s choice award winner walked away with a total of Ugx.10 million, with 5 million being the Nsidika Njake cash prize and 5 million for being the participant of choice for the public. He will use his cash prize to bolster his juice-making business. To ensure proper management of the finances, the cash prize will be dispatched to winners in 4 installments over a 1year period, upon the completion of key business milestones.
The main aim of this show was to inspire and stimulate entrepreneurship insight among the youth as one of the ways to lessen the high youth unemployment rates that are prevalent in the country. Youth unemployment in Uganda stills stands at between 64% and 70%, with up to 400,000 young people entering the job market annually for a mere 9,000 jobs. Based on the above statistics, entrepreneurship remains the most viable way to provide immediate employment and job creation opportunities. Unfortunately, the majority of the youths don’t sustain their start-ups due to a lack of entrepreneurial skills. While addressing the media at the grand closure of the Nsindika Njake show, held in Naguru, Somdev Sen, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer congratulated the winners and said that the show has gone a long way in addressing the unemployment issue that the youth are currently facing.
“While we worked with only 24 youths on this show, we believe that this show, that was televised for the entire public has taught very many people how to navigate the day-to-day challenges faced in businesses and has now set them on a path to becoming better entrepreneurs,” said Somdev. The show commenced with 24 small business owners who were mentored and trained by the MUBS entrepreneurship and small business center. With trials at different levels, 20 contenders were eliminated in a period of 11 weeks and the show zeroed down to the top 4 finalists including; Shakirah Nassejje, David Kasaali, Joseph Kwesiga, and Jovan Kagezi. Dr. Diana Nandagire Ntamu, the Director of MUBS Entrepreneurship Innovation and Incubation Centre, said the Nsindika Njake program has mentored several youths in capacity building and skills cutting across various disciplines in the business sector.
“I must say that I am very excited to have worked with MTN in fostering entrepreneurship to the enthusiastic young people hustling to develop their lives and communities,” said Ntamu. Dr. Ntamu further applauded MTN Uganda for the financial support towards the youths noting that this initiative will surely improve many lives of Ugandans once skills are practically